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FACE VALUE: French Elle is getting plenty of buzz with this week’s issue, which features Monica Bellucci on the cover in a white Christian Dior cashmere sweater, but not a lick of makeup on her face — and no retouching. Editor in chief Isabelle Maury credited photographer Peter Lindbergh for being able to convince Bellucci and seven other famous women of a more mature ilk to pose under those conditions. They include Sophie Marceau, Ines de la Fressange, Eva Herzigova and Charlotte Rampling. Maury insisted some stars, including Marceau, actually prefer when photos are not touched up. In order to keep the photo-shoot ritual to which stars are accustomed, Lindbergh had their hair and makeup done, but all the makeup was then removed with a lotion. In the magazine, Lindbergh explains the lotion captures the light and gives the face its life. The feature, titled “Stars Without Makeup,” includes 11 black-and-white photos spread over 16 pages. — Chantal Goupil
IF MORE PROOF WERE NEEDED: During the first quarter, magazine advertising revenue fell 20.2 percent, to an estimated $4.2 billion, while pages were down 26 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Across the top 12 magazine ad categories, it will come as no surprise automotive represented the biggest decline, down nearly 44 percent to an estimated $199.6 million spent. In addition, retail dropped 29.3 percent to an estimated $298 million, apparel and accessories fell 20.5 percent to an estimated $360.8 million and toiletries and cosmetics decreased 3.3 percent to an estimated $437.6 million. PIB reported that some sectors within larger ad categories saw an uptick in spending, including clothing accessories (in apparel and accessories), shopping centers and discount department and variety stores (in retail) and personal-hygiene and health products (in toiletries and cosmetics).
And the outlook certainly doesn’t appear any better for the remainder of the year. On Tuesday, ZenithOptimedia once again revised its forecast for global advertising, and now the agency is predicting global ad expenditures to shrink by 6.9 percent over the course of the year and by 8.7 percent in the United States alone. “Many are treating advertising as a discretionary expense, and one they find convenient to cut,” said analysts at ZenithOptimedia. “Ad expenditure correlates strongly with corporate profits, and the ad market is unlikely to start its recovery until profits start to pick up again.”
The only sector that ZenithOptimedia expects to improve this year? The Internet, which is expected to grow by 8.6 percent in spending, thanks to search advertising.
— Amy Wicks
PAY CUTS: Hachette Filipacchi Media became the latest publishing company to implement pay cuts, according to a memo by chief executive officer Alain Lemarchand released Tuesday and first obtained by Gawker. The memo stipulates salary cuts of 6 percent of all exempt employees and 3 percent of nonexempt employees. Nonexempt employees, who are entitled to overtime while exempt employees are not, will see their workday changed from seven-and-a-half hours to eight, reducing the amount the company pays in overtime. A spokeswoman declined further comment. She also addressed a report in the New York Post last month that Hachette was considering moving downtown from its Midtown West offices to cut expenses, which some at the company had privately attributed to a bargaining tactic with the landlord at 1633 Broadway. The spokeswoman said, “Moving downtown is an incorrect rumor. We haven’t made any decisions on a move.” — Irin Carmon
REMEMBERING PENNY: On the back of the program for In Style’s tribute to contributing fine jewelry and watches editor Penny Proddow, who died in February, were 10 “Pennyisms” compiled by longtime collaborator Marion Fasel, including “I live wrapped around an exclamation point.” The memorial, held Monday at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, eulogized Proddow for her energy, creativity and enthusiasm, a sort of punctuation mark to a life devoted to beautiful objects and a love of classical history.
Martha Nelson, editor of Time Inc.’s Style and Entertainment Group, which includes In Style, People and Entertainment Weekly, said Proddow represented “no snobbery, only quality.” She added, “She wasn’t a fashion person. Nor would you call her fashionable. But wow, did she have style.” Proddow and Fasel were, Nelson said, “the Bernstein and Woodward of jewelry.”
Ralph Esmerian of Fred Leighton, designers Robert Lee Morris, Robin Renzi and Philip Crangi, and Movado Group Inc. chief executive officer Efraim Grinberg also offered tributes. Journalist Chris Hedges read aloud his New York Times “Public Lives” profile of Proddow from 2002. And perhaps most movingly, three of the children who were regulars in Proddow’s Metropolitan Museum of Art “Pause for Pegasus” class read poems and recollections of their beloved teacher. — I.C.
LONDON CALLING: Frida Giannini is lovesick for London. After cutting the ribbon on the newly refurbished Gucci store on Sloane Street earlier this month and cohosting the opening party at the Saatchi Gallery, the Gucci creative director has decided to shoot the brand’s fall ad campaign in the British capital. Photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in a north London studio, the campaign features Jacquetta Wheeler. “We’re in London, so of course I had to have an English girl,” Giannini told WWD. It will also feature non-English models Raquel Zimmermann, Natasha Poly and Freja Beha.
The mood is similar to past seasons — “a continuation of Frida’s Gucci generation,” according to a spokesman, and will break in the September issues of American and international editions of Vogue, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair.
Meanwhile, Burberry is reported to have nabbed Emma Watson for its fall campaign. A Burberry spokeswoman declined to comment on a British press report, saying the project had not yet been finalized. The campaign will be unveiled at the end of May.
If Watson does appear, it’s likely she won’t be the only star of the show: Just as Burberry loves its young English movers and shakers — past campaigns have included actor Alex Pettyfer, musician George Craig, and celebrity offspring Max Irons and Theodora Richards — it also loves a group shot. The whole experience might be Hogwarts all over again. — Samantha Conti