SHARP WORDS: Don’t mess with Anna Wintour. A lesson learned by many in fashion, but obviously not by Sen. Hillary Clinton or her advisers. Clinton was to appear in Vogue as the presidential race reached high gear, but backed out late last fall before a photo shoot was scheduled for fear of appearing too alluring. New York Post columnist Liz Smith reported Nov. 1 that “the astute [Vogue contributing editor] Julia Reed hung ten waiting to write about her and the giant fotog Annie Leibovitz had her cameras at the ready for nothing.” A Vogue spokesman confirmed: “We were told by Ms. Clinton’s camp that they were concerned if Clinton appeared in Vogue that she would appear too feminine.” (Clearly, though, the presidential candidate didn’t worry about that when she cried in New Hampshire.)
But Wintour didn’t take Clinton’s dis lightly. In her February editor’s letter, Wintour takes Clinton to task for being behind the times. “Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying.” Wintour continues: “This is America, not Saudi Arabia. It’s also 2008: Margaret Thatcher may have looked terrific in a blue power suit, but that was 20 years ago. I do think Americans have moved on from the power-suit mentality, which served as a bridge for a generation of women to reach boardrooms filled with men. Political campaigns that do not recognize this are making a serious misjudgment.”
Calls and e-mails to the Clinton camp went unreturned as of press time.
Vogue has featured Sen. Clinton with her family and by herself in sizeable features six times since 1992, and she was the first first lady to appear on the magazine’s cover, in December 1998. Despite Wintour’s lashing, bridges have not been permanently burned: Vogue’s spokesman said the magazine and the Clintons are “working on something together for Vogue in the near future.” A presidential cover in January 2009, perhaps? — Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the January 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SHUTTER FLY: Former Yves Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane’s latest gig is shooting troubled Babyshambles lead singer Pete Doherty for the February cover of Spin. Slimane shot Doherty and his bandmates at Doherty’s home in Wiltshire, England. It’s not the first time the designer has shot the singer: He captured Doherty’s pain on film in his 2005 book “London: Birth of a Cult,” and Slimane told Spin he “immediately fell for him” during their first encounter. The rockers wore a sampling of Roberto Cavalli and Ben Sherman attire in the shoot. — S.D.S.
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: Wall Street Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli informed his staff Thursday that “Richistan” author Robert Frank would be named news editor, writing for several sections of the paper and continuing his Wealth Report blog. What he did not say was that Frank, who has long been the only name floated to edit the paper’s Pursuits magazine planned for September, would not be named its editor in chief. Instead, Brauchli said Frank “will be an adviser to the team that is developing a magazine about luxury and wealth.” Sources at the Journal said higher-ups are interviewing candidates to lead the magazine, possibly from outside the Journal, with the aim of finding someone with magazine editing experience. — Irin Carmon
EXEC MOVES: Condé Nast isn’t the only media company making promotions this week. Hachette Filipacchi Media said Thursday that Todd Anderman, former president of Maxim Digital, has been hired as senior vice president, digital media, reporting to executive vice president and chief operating officer Philippe Guelton. Anderman succeeds Marta Wöhrle, who left the company to become a consultant. Additonally, Nick Matarazzo, executive vice president and group publishing director for Hachette’s Men’s Enthusiast Network (a group that includes Boating, Car and Driver and Road & Track, among others) will now add executive vice president of integrated sales and marketing to his current responsibilities. At Hearst Magazines, Liberta Abbondante will join as senior vice president of consumer marketing. Abbondante was most recently vice president of circulation marketing for Dow Jones & Co. Finally, Alpha Media Group named Julien McNab executive editor and producer of blender.com. McNab joins from the cable television world — he was senior producer at VH1/MTV Networks, and was interactive programming producer for FUSE/MuchMusic USA/Cablevision prior to joining blender.com. — S.D.S.
KARL’S NEW HIRE: Quohnos Mitchell has been named vice president of global marketing and communications at Karl Lagerfeld, a new post based in New York. Mitchell joins Lagerfeld from Tommy Hilfiger in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for communications for Hilfiger’s brands in Europe. At Lagerfeld, Mitchell will work closely with Lagerfeld’s Paris-based press office, headed by Caroline LeBar, and be responsible for all marketing, media, communications and press activities for the designer’s various signature collections and licensed products. — Miles Socha
Correction: A Memo Pad item on Thursday misstated the role played by Harry Shearer of “The Simpsons.” He is the voice of Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders, among others.