VF SUPPORTS THE WRITERS BY NOT PARTYING: The Hollywood writers’ strike may be close to ending, but Vanity Fair has canceled its famed Academy Awards party. “After much consideration, and in support of the writers and everyone else affected by this strike, we have decided that this is not the appropriate year to hold our annual Oscar party,” the magazine said in a statement on its Web site. “We want to congratulate all of this year’s nominees and we look forward to hosting our 15th Oscar party next year.”
The timing surprised some, as close watchers of the Writers Guild of America strike — enacted more than 90 days ago — have been more optimistic this week about a resolution, though doubts remain.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In mid-December, editor in chief Graydon Carter told WWD of the party, “We’re going ahead as planned, although we have made provisions for a shorter-than-usual ceremony. Since it’s all hypothetical at the moment, it’s difficult to comment further.”
Sources close to the magazine said many staff members had urged Carter to cancel the event, but that he had still hoped the strike would be settled in time. Said a spokeswoman for Vanity Fair, “I think Graydon talked to a lot of people in L.A., and the feeling was that even if the strike is over, life won’t go back to normal in Hollywood, and we didn’t feel it was appropriate to throw a big party given that fact.” Were the strike to be resolved in time for the Oscars to go on, the party would still be off.
One thing is clear about the timing of the announcement: it’s just in time for the newsstand date of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue today. In that issue, the strike topic is tackled by columnist Michael Wolff. — Irin Carmon
EARLY VOTER: Earlier this week, WWD grilled editors on how they planned to juggle civic, sartorial and sporting responsibilities on Tuesday, but Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour’s plans were an unanswered question until the day of. “I voted at seven this morning, after my tennis game,” said Wintour from the front row of the Badgley Mischka show. She voted for a Democrat, she said, but declined to specify which one — perhaps in light of Wintour’s stern rebuke of Sen. Hillary Clinton in her editor’s letter this month after the candidate backed out of appearing on Vogue’s cover. (Overheard a few rows back at the show: “I want to be Hillary Clinton’s stylist!”)
“I will support the Democratic candidate,” Wintour said simply. But anyone dreaming of a football-themed spread in Vogue (or Men’s Vogue?) might be disappointed: “I’m not very familiar with football,” she said, adding elliptically, “Tennis.” — I.C.
STAFFING UP: Peggy Northrop is beginning to assemble her team at Reader’s Digest. Tom Prince, who was vice president and development editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and has also been executive editor at Real Simple, with long stints at Allure and New York magazine, will be co-executive editor. Sharing the title will be Barbara O’Dair, who was most recently Northrop’s number two at More, and has also been editor of Us magazine (pre-weekly) and managing editor of Teen People. After those runs at the top, it’s no wonder sources said O’Dair had been eyed to replace Northrop at More. — I.C.
CELEBRITY WRITER: Joy Bryant is joining the ranks of models, actresses and socialites that are doing more than just posing for pictures at fashion week. The actress, who has a total of six shows on her agenda, including Hervé Léger, Zac Posen, Matthew Williamson, Michael Kors, Alice Temperley and Monique Lhuillier, is writing a diary-style piece on her fashion week experiences for C magazine. Like most actresses, Bryant has time to do side work since the status of the writers’ strike hasn’t changed. “I have pitched a few things to magazines; I’ve already been published in Flaunt and Outside, and people seem to respond to it,” she said. “This time has been frustrating for a lot of people. I try and stay creative and do a little writing every day.” Bryant also has a new movie coming out soon, her first comedy, called “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.” “It was either fashion week or snowboarding in Colorado and Guitar Hero; C magazine gave me a great reason to pick the shows instead.” — Amy Wicks
INDIAN EXPANSION: Luxury brands are eyeing India as a major growth market, so it’s no surprise Time Style & Design will expand its global footprint with an Indian edition beginning this spring. The magazine will publish a spring and fall edition in April and October this year that will be polybagged with regular Time India issues. Circulation for the Indian edition will be 50,000. Comparatively, the U.S. version of Time Style & Design publishes seven times a year and has a rate base of 550,000. The magazine also publishes editions for Europe, Canada, Asia and the South Pacific. Time Style & Design India will have a few magazine competitors to battle against for ad dollars — Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan all have Indian editions. Meanwhile, the next U.S. edition of Time Style & Design, with Agyness Deyn on the cover, will be distributed Feb. 22. — Stephanie D. Smith
IF A TREE FALLS IN A FOREST…: As many know by now, Rupert Murdoch plans to make changes to his new trophy, the Wall Street Journal. However, many didn’t even notice the most recent alteration, even on the front page. On Monday, the newspaper’s front page added an additional column to slightly increase the real estate dedicated to the major stories of the day. This shift (to six columns) will have no impact on the front page ad, said a spokesman.
Apparently the change has been under consideration by Marcus Brauchli since he took over as managing editor last April, added the spokesman. During the second quarter earnings call for News Corp., Murdoch predicted the changes ahead will attract more readers and advertisers, at more “attractive pricing.” That is, if they even notice. — A.W.
MIELE’S IMAGE: To capitalize on Carlos Miele’s growing business around the world, which includes a new store in Paris and another on the way in Miami, the brand is launching its first ad campaign for spring. “We are now sold in more than 25 countries,” said Miele. “We will now have a campaign twice a year.” He asked his friend Michael Roberts, fashion and style director at Vanity Fair, to shoot model Caroline Trentini in Rio de Janeiro. If Roberts and Brazil ring a bell, it’s because he styled a photo shoot for Vanity Fair’s September issue, which included a lengthy photo shoot called “Blame It on Brazil.” “He loves Brazil and always supports me and my work, so I knew he’d be the right person for it.” The campaign will appear in March issues of Vogue and W.
In addition to the campaign, Roberts’ images can also be seen in a book written by Tim Blanks, a contributing editor at Style.com that will be given to select customers. Miele said another book is in the works, which will be sold in bookstores by the end of the year. He said it will go more in depth on Brazil, and his career. — A.W.