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STRIKING A POSE: Kate Winslet turns sultry for St. John in the brand’s fall ad campaign, a key part of its strategy to reposition the brand for a younger customer. Shot in April at a retro Jersey City movie theater, Winslet appears in figure-hugging St. John dresses, stretched full-length on stage or perched sexily on a chair. The campaign, which drops in September books, is part of the actress’ year-long contract with the California-based knitwear house and mark the first time she has done a fashion campaign. “They want to keep it looking like me and not have it look like me pretending to be a model wearing these clothes,” said Winslet of the concept. “I’m obviously not a model. I’m not the size of a model. I don’t have the face of a model or the shape of a model.”
— JESSICA IREDALE
This story first appeared in the June 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
ALL CHANGE: The executive shuffle continues inside Reader’s Digest Association. On Thursday, RDA said Suzanne Grimes, president, North American affinities & India, will leave the company to “pursue other endeavors.” Before joining RDA in 2007, Grimes was at Condé Nast, in corporate sales and as publisher of Glamour and Allure. Meanwhile, Dan Lagani has been promoted to president, North America.
— AMY WICKS
A NEW MOTHER SHIP: This week, Hearst Magazines president David Carey and editorial director Ellen Levine welcomed the Elle, Elle Decor and Woman’s Day staffers to an orientation session at the Hearst Tower. Carey introduced Levine as the “birthing mother of O magazine,” according to one source present. She followed that up with a joke about stretch marks. There was a certain amount of awkwardness in the introduction. Over the next few hours, a human resources representative from Hearst walked the group through a company benefits packet. The Elle staff learned about all the perks of working in the Hearst Tower: day care, the cafeteria where they serve grass-fed beef raised on the Hearst ranch in California, an in-house gym where someone washes your sports bras and a nurse’s office. “Hachette Filipacchi Media does not have a nurse’s office, if you know what I mean,” said one source who attended the session. “It feels like that Google feeling — being lighted up into the mother ship and welcomed and being clothed and fed,” said another source. That same day, Hearst ran an ad in The New York Times, WWD and other papers featuring the covers from the company’s magazines, including Elle front and center. Glenda Bailey’s American edition of Harper’s Bazaar was grossly distorted.
On Tuesday night, Carey and Levine welcomed the Elle staff and their fellow Hachette refugees back to the Hearst Tower for cocktails and hor d’oeuvres on the 44th floor. Some staffers were impressed with the amount of face time they were getting with Carey. “They’re incredibly excited to have us — crazy excited,” said one Elle source. “It’s as if they’re saying we’re the prized new possession without really saying it.”
— ZEKE TURNER