RICHER READERS: Ad pages may be down at fashion magazines, but household income at many titles appears to be on the rise — perhaps because those are the people not cutting back on buying magazines in the recession. Elle led the way, with household income among women up 11.9 percent to $77,292, according to Mediamark Research and Intelligence’s new fall report. Harper’s Bazaar was right behind Elle, up 10.6 percent to $69,089, followed by Vogue, which rose to $68,143, while Cosmopolitan was up 5.6 percent to $61,232. InStyle reported a 4 percent gain to $84,112, Allure’s household income rose 3.3 percent to $65,677, and Glamour and Lucky were both down 2.5 percent to $67,555 and $82,732, respectively. Meanwhile, a few titles reported modest declines in household income, with W down 7.7 percent to $81,816. Town & Country fell 7.4 percent to $60,193 and Marie Claire posted a 5 percent decline, to $74,116. — Amy Wicks
HOMBRES OF THE YEAR: Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli traveled to Madrid last week to receive the Best International Designer Award at GQ Spain’s Men of the Year Awards. Spanish designer Lorenzo Caprile presented the honor before an audience that included Claudia Schiffer, Alberta Ferretti, designer David Delfin and director Alejandro Amenábar. Model Andrés Velencoso (Kylie Minogue’s main squeeze) was also honored and wore Calvin Klein Collection for the occasion. — Jean Scheidnes
EXIT: Playboy Enterprises still isn’t responding to reports about a potential sale, but on Monday, chief financial officer Linda Havard revealed plans to step down at the end of the year. Havard has managed the company’s financial and accounting functions, among others, for the past 12 years. A search for a successor has begun. — A.W.
LEGAL SEPARATION: On Dec. 9, Time Warner Inc. and AOL will part ways. Time Warner shareholders will receive one share of AOL common stock for every 11 shares of Time Warner common stock they hold. Time Warner said in May it would spin off AOL after a long and tumultuous nine years together. — A.W.
SOUNDING OFF: The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer Robin Givhan may be many things, but being indirect is not one of them. Speaking with authority on everything from the dysfunctional state of the fashion industry and the decline of thoughtful fashion coverage to Sarah Palin’s choice of red patent pumps, Givhan minced no words during an appearance Friday as part of a speaker series at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, particularly when it came to the recent flurry of celebrities turned designers.
“I can’t imagine Donna Karan saying I’m going to cut an album because her friends say she can sing karaoke,” said Givhan, adding that most celebrity brands are falling by the wayside. “I find that reassuring,” she said, explaining the trend will not completely die because a segment of consumers will buy based on a celebrity’s name.
By bringing celebrities so prominently into the fashion fold (from their front-row fashion show seats to becoming billboards for their clothes), “they [designers] kind of made a pact with the devil,” Givhan said, contending consumers didn’t seem to tune out the fashion industry just because of the economy. “It didn’t just happen because they got laid off,” she said, noting some designers should consider creating larger-size clothing to reflect American reality.
Meanwhile, Givhan said dissecting a politician’s appearance is important because it often relays a message. While she said some coverage surrounding Palin’s campaign for vice president was sexist, commentary was warranted. Palin didn’t chose to wear red patent leather pumps by accident, Givhan noted, and Hillary Rodham Clinton needed to consider her fashion choices as well. “You can’t come dressed head-to-toe in cantaloupe and not have people talk about it.”
Givhan also questioned the value of reactionary fashion writing popularized within blogs and Twitter. For those who immediately tweet their opinion upon exiting a fashion show, Givhan asked, “How thoughtful can you be five minutes after the show?” — Beth Wilson