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HOPING FOR A SYMBIOSIS: As The Wall Street Journal gets closer to the September launch of glossy magazine WSJ., it’s releasing more information on the particulars and sending out editor Tina Gaudoin to advertiser-oriented events — a buzz-building strategy more akin to the magazine world than the ink-stained Journal legacy.
In an interview Monday, Gaudoin emphasized her task has been “translating the DNA of the paper into a magazine,” but with more visual flair, and said that in commissioning pieces, she has drawn about 60 percent from Journal staff and 40 percent from outside freelancers. But the former also includes the staff she herself has hired, which is overwhelmingly drawn from the magazine world, another sign to Journal insiders that the new supplement won’t necessarily cohere with the traditional culture. (Gaudoin said she has also taken advantage of the Journal’s extensive network of foreign correspondents, with the help of WSJ. features editor and former Weekend Journal travel editor Janelle Carrigan. Journal reporters have been told they can have “a little more freedom in terms of how they write” to adapt to magazine style, Gaudoin said.)
Sarajane Hoare, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair known for her work in British fashion magazines, will style a shoot in the first issue, and will also be a contributing editor. In keeping with the magazine’s dual audience, fashion and beauty coverage will be split between male and female perspectives, often on the same page. In the beauty department, for example, editor at large Jeffrey Podolsky takes on men’s grooming, while Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore will write from the women’s side. More contributing editors will be added, Gaudoin said.
WSJ., which found a publisher in American Express Publishing veteran Ellen Asmodeo, has also disclosed several of its advertisers so far. Those new to the Journal include DKNY, Dior and Bottega Veneta. Hermès and Versace, which have previously advertised in the paper, have also signed on. — Irin Carmon
DOES THIS REALLY HAPPEN AT THE PLAZA?: Jimmy Choo is creating another story for its fall ad campaign — this time a sultry one involving Angela Lindvall, the Plaza Hotel and king of raunch photographer Terry Richardson.
Richardson shot Lindvall lounging in the Plaza, accompanied by a plethora of Choo accessories. In one image, the model arrives in a limousine, clutching a slouchy black python Lohla Jayne bag and wearing patent Helena boots, while another shot simply pictures Lindvall’s bronzed limbs stalking out of the hotel’s revolving door in the brand’s Glint suede booties. The images are designed to represent Lindvall in a series of moments over the course of one night, the company said.
“I chose to work with Terry Richardson because of his inimitable style and the way he captures women as modern, glamorous and independently confident,” said Tamara Mellon, president and founder of Jimmy Choo.
The campaign is set to break in the August issues of titles including Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar and British Vogue. For fall, the brand has taken four consecutive advertising pages — the biggest unit of advertising it has taken to date — in the September issue of Vogue. The brand has produced a 48-page, perfect bound magazine for fall featuring the images, which it will send to key customers and place in its boutiques from July. The company has also invested in online advertising for the first time for fall. The New York-based creative agency AR produced the campaign, the agency’s first collaboration with Choo.
But it’s not the first time Choo has tapped a big name for its campaign. For fall 2006, the brand hired Brett Ratner to shoot Quincy Jones and Molly Sims in a tableau that featured images of the duo in the desert — and ended with Jones pictured sitting next to Sims’ seemingly lifeless body with a shovel in his hand (at least Lindvall appears to survive her 24 hours at the Plaza).
“As Jimmy Choo evolves into a luxury lifestyle brand across categories and geographies, a key element of our strategic plan is to improve both the quality and quantity of our advertising and communications,” said Joshua Schulman, chief executive of Jimmy Choo. “For the second half we have made substantial increases in our media spend…we will be further investing in our largest ever direct mail effort with our new magazine and [our] first-ever online marketing.” — Nina Jones
DEPARTURES: Elle.com saw two more departures last week. On Friday, fashion director Joe Berean and Keith Pollock, who had served as elle.com editor and was recently moved to a broader role as executive editor of Hachette Filipacchi Media’s Woman’s Digital Group, both resigned. The departures come after four elle.com employees were let go a month ago. The changes are the latest under new senior vice president, digital media Todd Anderman, who joined in January from Maxim Digital and is overhauling and reorganizing Hachette’s digital offerings. Pollock, who had been at the Web site for over a year, oversaw the sites for Elle, Ellegirl, Pointclickhome, Woman’s Day and Premiere. Berean had also been with the company for a year. Hachette is looking for replacements for both. — Stephanie D. Smith
BUILDING A BETTER HOME: The home industry has little good news to share, what with a tanking housing market and a mortgage crisis to navigate, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Domino is also facing challenges to its business: ad pages declined two percent though June, to 298 (publisher Beth Brenner blames shrinking automotive advertising; 20 pages evaporated from this year’s issues.) What to do? Well, borrow a page from other magazines’ playbooks and look to television and other brand extensions to help expand the bottom line. This fall, Domino creative director Sarah Ruffin Costello will appear on a Sundance Channel show “Architecture School” and, in October, the magazine will release its first book, “The Domino Book of Decorating.”
There’s more: On Monday, Domino partnered with Discovery Communication’s new Planet Green network for its reality show “Alter Ego,” starring Adrian Grenier. The program instructs celebrities (and, presumably, normal folk) about how to live a more green lifestyle, with Domino’s contributing editor Nathan Turner as one of the green curators. He will decorate Grenier’s Los Angeles home, and will appear in at least eight of the 13 episodes.
The new partnerships offer opportunities to generate advertising, but more importantly, according to editor in chief Deborah Needleman, the shows “introduce the brand to more people. All I care about is getting the magazine into the hands of people who don’t know it.”
That said, circulation is the stronger side of the business for Domino. In August the title will boost its rate base to 800,000 from 750,000. Domino’s circulation base received a boost from old subscriptions from House & Garden — but of the 500,000 names it received when the title folded in November, it is planning for only 50,000 of those to convert to long-term subscribers. Newsstand sales through April are up five percent over last year, however, selling on average 110,000 copies a month. Domino has started to feature more celebrity covers, but Needleman says February’s organizing issue with no celebrity face fared better. “Organizing — it’s like the sex of the home set. It’s the ‘lose 10 pounds’ or ‘have a better life’ of the home set. It’s something that women are obsessed with.” — S.D.S.