SUZY Q: So much for the conventional wisdom that staffers of the International Herald Tribune are up in arms over its purchase by the New York Times. Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the IHT, is gushing over the change in ownership. During her opening remarks at the IHT’s fashion conference Thursday, Menkes praised the Times’ reputation for journalistic excellence, accuracy and independent spirit. “I myself couldn’t be happier about this,” she cooed. “I know the New York Times will support me in all this. The IHT has the kind of independent voices we need to see more of.”
— Miles Socha
GANGING UP ON HARVEY: Talk about bad timing. On Monday morning, the New Yorker will release Ken Auletta’s profile of Harvey Weinstein, which is said by sources to be an exceptionally tough piece that addresses head-on the Miramax honcho’s cantankerous disposition. Less than 12 hours later, Weinstein will attend the premiere of Miramax’s much-anticipated “Gangs of New York,” the latest film by Martin Scorcese. “By the time people get there,” crowed a source, “everyone will have read it.”
— Jacob Bernstein
LIVING AND BREATHING?: The Meredith Corp. is in the final stages of deciding whether to proceed with a launch of Living Room, the trendy shelter magazine developed by Bonnie Fuller prior to going over to US Weekly. According to people at the publication, a decision is expected before the holidays, but the forecast is looking positive. “We’re in the final stages of analyzing the test,” said Michael Brownstein, vice president and publishing director for Living Room and Midwest Living. “We’re very optimistic. The results of the test issue were good so now it’s dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s.” The magazine sent 425,000 copies to newsstands and 500,000 were directly mailed to readers who were picked off the subscription lists of Lucky, Marie Claire and In Style. Brownstein declined to specify how many newsstand copies were sold, though one source believed the sell-through rate was between 40 and 50 percent. The magazine’s last test issue was edited by Jeanie Pyun, a former editor at Mademoiselle.
POLAND GETS SOME GLAMOUR: A Polish edition of Glamour magazine will be launched next spring by the Polish division of Gruner & Jahr, under a license from Condé Nast International. Polish Glamour will be the sixth international edition to be published outside of the U.S. At present, Glamour is published in Italy, the U.K., Germany, Spain and Greece. The Polish edition will be in the small “handbag-size” format pioneered internationally and will be edited by Grazyna Olbrych, formerly editor of Poland’s Cosmopolitan.
— Sarah Harris
HO HO HO: While a strict eye on the bottom line means no holiday parties for Time Inc., other magazines around town are getting into the holiday spirit. On Thursday night, Vogue threw a party at 66, a downtown restaurant, for the editorial and business staffs, while Allure, which had scheduled its party the same night at Lot 61, postponed it until January because of the weather. Quest slipped its party in on Tuesday at Doubles at the Sherry Netherland Hotel.
Others to follow include Hearst Magazines’ bash at Tavern on the Green on Dec. 12; Wenner Media’s on Dec. 16 at the Knitting Factory; Elle Group’s the same night at the Ava Lounge in the penthouse of the Majestic Hotel; GQ’s party on Dec. 17 at Flow, a downtown club; Glamour’s at Room 143 on Dec. 18, and Interview’s after-work party at Thom at the Thompson Hotel. The date hasn’t been set yet. “We’re not a water crowd. Our group likes an eggnog or a martini. They like to celebrate,” said Ingrid Sischy, editor in chief of Interview. Gruner + Jahr and Primedia, meanwhile, are letting each of their titles decide what to do.
But the latest trend in holiday parties seems to be post-holiday ones — Vanity Fair will throw a bash at the SoHo House on Jan. 8, and Fairchild Publications, publishers of W, Jane, Details and WWD, among other titles, will hold its annual “Fairchild First” annual party and awards night at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Jan. 30.
Better late than never.
HEROES’ WELCOME: Who needs to get drunk with your office mate, when you can celebrate the more meaningful things in the world? People magazine threw a luncheon Thursday at the New York Public Library called “Heroes Among Us,” introducing a group of individuals who best exemplify the best of the human spirit. Mattie Stepanek, a 12-year-old boy with a form of muscular dystrophy who has published two poetry collections; Jacques d’Amboise, who has brought dance to 750,000 elementary school children, and Bob and Gay Smither, whose daughter Laura’s kidnapping and murder prompted them to establish the Laura Recovery Center Foundation for missing children, were among those honored. Michael J. Fox, Serena Williams and “The Lord of the Rings’” Sean Astin were among the presenters.
“These are the stories that aren’t about filling the pages between Ben and J.Lo,” said Peter Bauer, president of People. They are the backbone of People’s editorial approach, he said. And, of course, a surefire way to distinguish the magazine from its celebrity-filled archrival, US Weekly.
MAGUIRE TO COSMO: Michelle Maguire has been named fashion director of Cosmopolitan. She takes over fashion duties from Elaine Farley, former fashion and beauty director, who joined Self as beauty director, as reported. Rachel Hayes became Cosmo’s beauty director.
Maguire, who begins Dec. 16, was formerly a senior editor, sittings and beauty, at Glamour.
Meantime, over at Ladies’ Home Journal, Carla Engler has been named beauty/fashion director, a new post. The beauty responsibilities had been handled by Carol Straley, beauty director, who left the magazine.
Most recently, Engler was beauty/fashion director at My Generation, having worked previously at Redbook and Self.