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MICKEY IN THE MORNING: Millard “Mickey” Drexler and his unorthodox management style, from his daily bicycle ride through J. Crew headquarters to his trademarked off-the-cuff loudspeaker pages communicating company developments to the entire staff, gets profiled this Sunday on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” at 9 a.m.
Host Serena Altschul and producer Ramon Parkins were practically embedded at J. Crew offices, closely trailing Drexler and his team on and off for about a year, experiencing closed-door design reviews, spontaneous brainstorming sessions, photo shoots and the rise of new retail concepts, such as the Liquor and the J. Crew Collection stores. There’s also a sit-down interview with Drexler on the construction site of the recently opened men’s shop on lower Broadway. The segment is also scheduled to air on Charles Osgood’s weekly radio show this morning on CBS Radio.
This story first appeared in the July 10, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— David Moin
SLOW GOING: You won’t need a forklift to pick up those typically thump-heavy September fashion magazines this year. As publishers approach their closing deadlines next week, most are resigned to the fact that the issues will be about a third lighter than in years past. Hard-pressed sales executives corralled clients into September through any number of ways: extended close dates, aggressive discounts on page rates, and added value. Some publishers had hoped for an uptick in ad spending this summer that would have resulted in a 20 percent decline in paging for September. But with the worst comparative-store sales results in history at retail during the first half of 2009 and a recovery not expected until mid-2010, most publishers are forecasting a sharper decline in ad pages compared with last year’s levels.
For some, up to 30 percent fewer ads in their September issues will be not quite a relief, but almost. Those magazines more dependent on newly frugal luxury advertisers were hinting at painful 40 percent declines in paging this spring.
While publishers were hesitant to speak on the record until their issues had officially closed, most weren’t panicked about the state of affairs, given that the industry has had nearly a year to adjust to the worst ad recession in decades. In past months, clients have cut noncore titles from their schedule entirely while booking fewer pages in their core books. “People who placed four pages last year are doing two and spreading their pages across the year,” said one publisher. And Condé Nast’s fashion titles, among them Vogue, Lucky, Allure, Glamour and GQ, had already braced for the deficit in pages from the disappearance of the company’s “Fashion Rocks” corporate marketing program. That said, most agreed September still will be the largest of the issues this fall, as most advertisers either scrapped their pre-collection ads that usually run in August to concentrate on September, or will likely run fewer pages — if any — in October, November and December.
— Stephanie D. Smith
LOTS OF SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE: What do Richard Tyler, Rebecca Taylor and Collette Dinnigan all have in common? They’re all designers from Australia and if Calvin Klein’s Malcolm Carfrae and former fashion magazine executive-turned-film producer Julie Anne Quay prove successful, more will be on the way to the U.S. The duo are hosting their first fund-raising dinner for their group, Australians in New York Fashion Foundation, on July 22. The foundation creates opportunities through scholarships and connections for young Australians to gain work experience in New York’s fashion and beauty industries. Expected attendees include Sarah Wynter, Rose Byrne, Miranda Kerr, Catherine McNeil and Harper’s Bazaar’s Laura Brown.
— Amy Wicks