VETTING THE CANDIDATES: With WSJ. editor in chief Tina Gaudoin returning home to London this summer and her number two, Owen Phillips, decamping to The Hollywood Reporter, the future of The Wall Street Journal’s glossy supplement is unclear. And for the past several weeks, editors — both employed and out of work — have been making their case for the lead role. Now sources are pointing to a short list of candidates for that top spot; managing editor Robert Thomson is said to be casting a wide net, apparently with the hope of landing a “star.” Among those said to be in the running are Marie Claire editor in chief Joanna Coles, as well as Jay Fielden, former editor of Men’s Vogue, Horacio Silva, online director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Julie L. Belcove, the former deputy editor of W and Deborah Needleman, the former Domino editor, who is already inside the Journal. Needleman is consulting on the launch of a weekend lifestyle section, which is likely why her name is in the mix. “We’ll decline comment on potential candidates…though there is very hot competition for the much-coveted job,” said a spokeswoman for the Journal.
With regard to the position, insiders said the new editor will be given enormous leeway (and a frequency boost could be on the horizon), though a known goal is to make the magazine more female-friendly — no doubt, to appeal to deep-pocketed fashion and beauty advertisers. The next issue of WSJ. will be published in September.
— Amy Wicks and Nick Axelrod
This story first appeared in the July 16, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BAUBLES, BOBBLEHEADS AND OTHER THINGS: The “Project Runway” Web site is a veritable marketplace with auctions — season seven contestant Emilio’s dress fetched a final bid of $355 — and sponsors’ products on sale, ranging from Gingher pinking shears to Rowenta irons. There’s even show memorabilia such as a talking Tim Gunn bobblehead doll for $25 that bobbles such signature witticisms as “Fab-u-lous!” and “Carry on!” With all the exposure — some sponsors receive on-air integration and a significant online presence — is it any wonder that brands want to cozy up with “Runway”? The latest, Piperlime.com, hopes to tap into the program’s 2.9 million viewers when “Runway’s” eighth season begins on July 29 on Lifetime. Piperlime.com’s contributions include painting the “Project Runway” accessories wall, from which contestants choose finishing touches for their creations and fill the wall with its products. Piperlime.com has a shoppable version of the “Project Runway” accessories wall in the works for its Web site. The winner of season eight will get to design and sell an exclusive collection on Piperlime.com, the company said. Piperlime, which launched in 2006, offers complete looks and tips from stylists.
— Sharon Edelson
ANNA AND COMPANY: Mario Testino recently described Anna Wintour as shy to the press, but the Vogue editor in chief was all smiles and joked around during a roughly hour-long chat with Condé Nast’s newest crop of summer interns earlier this week. Beyond enlightening the youth of today, perhaps she had an ulterior motive in mind: to recruit volunteers for her second run at the Fashion’s Night Out lollapalooza. Wintour asked interns to work on the kickoff fashion show at Lincoln Center, which will take place Sept. 7. Word has it there will be upward of 250 models wearing clothing inspired by various New York neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Williamsburg, the Lower East Side, the United Nations, Central Park, Uptown, Harlem and the Botanical Gardens.
FRIENDFINDER BIDS ON PLAYBOY: Penthouse magazine owner FriendFinder Networks Inc. came through as expected Thursday with a $210 million offer for Playboy Enterprises Inc. The bid countered a standing proposal from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to take the company private for $5.50 a share for a total value of about $185 million. FriendFinder proposed to meet with the Playboy board next week to explain its plan, but Playboy said only that it would give FriendFinder’s pitch “appropriate consideration.” A representative for Hefner did not respond to a request for comment.
— Matthew Lynch
TORY’S TETE-A-TETE: Tory Burch got the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” treatment on Thursday morning as the inaugural interview subject of the Fashion Group International’s Tastemakers series. Teen Vogue editor in chief Amy Astley did her best James Lipton impression as she ran through her guest’s résumé for a breakfast audience at 21 Club, allowing Burch to recall lessons learned from her early stints at Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Harper’s Bazaar. When the timeline reached the founding of Burch’s own brand, Astley was ready with a firsthand account. The editor recalled trekking to Burch’s apartment to review samples of the budding line ahead of its 2004 debut. “The idea was very strong even in the kitchen,” Astley observed. “Thank you for coming up,” said Burch in a bit of a deadpan. The conversation turned to more contemporary history toward its end, and Burch explained how social media is affecting her operation. The designer recounted a recent Twitter post about walking barefoot through airport security that had garnered thousands of responses. “We will have travel socks coming out for Christmas,” she added.
THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Watch out Teen Vogue, Lucky magazine could soon be courting a younger audience. The title is said to be in the beginning stages of developing a prototype for a special interest publication aimed at kids. Nothing has been finalized yet, a spokesman for the magazine said.