SLIMMED-DOWN SEVENTEEN: With the number of staff defections at Seventeen Magazine, it’s beginning to seem as though the more appropriate title for the magazine should be ‘Departures.’
This story first appeared in the May 31, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It began last month with the resignation of consulting creative director Shawn Young. Though Young was on a six-month retainer with the magazine, a rift was said to have developed between him and editor in chief Annemarie Iverson. Just weeks later, Debbie McHugh, the magazine’s executive managing editor, said she would be leaving to become managing editor at Jane. Now, designer Ryan Schmidt has left for Nylon and accessories director Cayli Cavaco has quit her position, though she will continue to pen a column for the magazine and do other projects.
So is there a mutiny going on at the magazine? Not exactly. Sources said Cavaco was just uninterested with being a full time editor at a teen magazine and McHugh said she simply received a great offer from Jane.
“When you do a redesign, it’s six months in the trenches, and then people come up for air,” said Iverson. “That’s when you have to find a staff.”
So far, no replacement has been named for Young, though George Moscahlades, his number two, is acting as a creative consultant. Cavaco was replaced with Leah Karp, who formerly worked under Paul Cavaco at Allure before becoming a freelancer. Iverson says that the production team at the magazine has taken over McHugh’s duties.
DUTCH USA — JUST A CRAZY DREAM?: The editor-in-chief and publisher of Dutch magazine, Sandor Lubbe, has refuted claims that Bob Guccione, Jr. of Gear magazine will be publishing an American edition of Dutch beginning next year. “It’s completely not true,” Lubbe said. “I think it’s very weird to be spreading these unfounded rumors before even talking to me.” The story in The New York Post earlier this week quoted Guccione as saying that Dutch USA “will start as a quarterly in 2003” aiming at “a couple of hundred thousand readers,” and that the launch will be assisted by Gear’s new creative director Michel Comte, a “silent partner in the European version” of Dutch.
“He [Comte] claims to be a silent partner,” said Lubbe. “He’s so silent nobody even knows about him. Dutch, in fact, has only two shareholders: myself and a Dutch publishing company, Audax. When the Post article appeared, a lot of contributors called me, worried. I’m not worried though — I just think that Guccione and Comte are making fools of themselves.”
But Lubbe is willing to let bygones be bygones — especially since he’s eager to talk to Guccione about him buying the entire magazine. “The European edition of Dutch already has a presence in the U.S., even if it’s not as big as Guccione is envisioning,” said Lubbe. “It would probably be more sensible for him to buy the European edition and simply give it wider exposure in the U.S.”
Guccione, meanwhile, in Italy for his nuptials, claimed that the Post transformed his comments about a hypothetical Dutch USA launch into a real one. “There are no concrete plans. Michel Comte and I have been involved in creative discussions on the idea of a Dutch USA, but it hasn’t ranged anywhere beyond discussions.” But Guccione was very open to Lubbe’s suggestion that Gear magazine consider acquiring European Dutch outright. “I’d actually be happier to enter into that kind of relationship with Sandor, who’s a genius,” he said. “I wish we had this discussion three months ago. But he mentioned this [acquisition] idea to me earlier today [Thursday] and I said to him `Let’s talk.”‘ Meantime, Dutch plans to soon launch a fashion, lifestyle and celebrity magazine called Berlin, with an initial print run of 160,000, according to sources.
SIBLING SNIPES : Kelly and Jack Osbourne are bringing new meaning to the word synergy. In a cover story on the impish siblings in June’s issue of Interview, now on newsstands, Kelly mouths off that she is considering ditching her family’s hit show to become a recording artist for Epic records, the same label where Jack works as a talent scout. Asked whether he is responsible for having signed her, Jack boasts to interviewer Elvis Mitchell, “Well, actually I am.” “No, he is not,” his sister retorts. “That was the one thing I told them — `I do not want to work with my brother.”‘ His response? “I’m not going to work with you. I just get a finder’s fee. And I get a point on your album.”
ELLE TAPS KELLICK: Elizabeth M. Kellick as been named associate publisher of Elle. She takes over the post formerly handled by Lynne Dominick, who joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as advertising sales manager, and Jeanne Schwenk, who became publisher of Elle Girl.
Most recently, Kellick was special projects director of Vogue from 2001 to 2002, where she also served as luxury goods director from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 to 2001, she was ad director of Town & Country. Kellick reports to Lori Burgess, publisher of Elle.
ALLURING TV: Beauty fanatics, set your clocks this weekend: Allure is taking to the airwaves. “Allure Backstage Fall 2002” will be running on E! Entertainment at 8:30 a.m. (ouch!) this Sunday featuring editor-in-chief Linda Wells backstage at last season’s shows to reveal such directional beauty trends as the smudgy lipstick look. Allure will also be doing beauty and fashion segments on “Good Day Live,” a one-hour news and entertainment show based on “Good Day L.A.,” premiering June 3 on Fox 5. The segment will feature Wells and a rotation of other Allure editors, depending on where it’s shot.
DKNY MOVE: Gitanjali Ramani has been named director of communications at DKNY. She succeeds Erin Hawker, who as reported, resigned to join Vertu, a cell phone company. Most recently, Ramani was public relations manager at Miu Miu.