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Memo Pad: What’s Baking … Esprit Steps Out … The Relaxed Approach …

<STRONG>WHAT'S BAKING?:</STRONG> Rumors are rampant that Martha Baker, fashion editor of New York magazine, is leaving, but as of Thursday, everybody's denying them.<BR><BR>"I haven't resigned. I'm still working for them. I just took in film for the...

WHAT’S BAKING?: Rumors are rampant that Martha Baker, fashion editor of New York magazine, is leaving, but as of Thursday, everybody’s denying them.

“I haven’t resigned. I’m still working for them. I just took in film for the Summer Pleasures issue,” said Baker. “She has not resigned,” said Kurt Andersen, editor of New York.

ESPRIT STEPS OUT: Esprit de Corp., based in San Francisco, has selected Evans & Kravetz, a new agency with offices in New York and Portland, Maine, as its first outside agency. Esprit owner and founder Susie Tompkins, chief marketing executive Engle Saez and new director of marketing Cindy Wong will work with the agency to develop ads for this fall’s campaign. The agency will handle production, media planning and placement. Esprit’s ad budget is around $7 million.

THE RELAXED APPROACH: Cherokee is kicking back. A new print and TV campaign, developed with L.A. agency Asher Gould, carries the tag line “Relax. It’s Cherokee.” And while the print ads show mostly product, the TV spots are humor-driven.One spot depicts a little girl who has to entertain her mother’s boss while mom changes into casual clothes. The child innocently tells the boss things such as: “You don’t look like a slave driver,” and “Mom says your toupee is ugly, but I think it looks nice.” The spot ends with this voiceover: “Life has its uncomfortable moments, but at least with Cherokee, it won’t be your pants.”

Joe Elles, Cherokee president, said the spots will debut for fall. The campaign’s total budget is $7 million, which will grow significantly next year, he said.

GAP GRADUATION: Duke Ellington wore khakis, and so did 74 graduating seniors from Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts in The Gap’s latest real-people ad campaign. When the school asked The Gap about doing an ad as part of its 20th anniversary celebration — which will include a speech by Hillary Rodham Clinton — Richard Crisman, a Gap vice president, replied, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we dressed the whole class in khakis?”

The ad will run exclusively in local print media to coincide with the seniors’ graduation next Wednesday. The Gap has 40 stores in the Washington area.

MILLER TIME: Caroline Miller, who left a few months ago as editor of Lear’s to become editor in chief of Seventeen, has hired some of her former colleagues. Daniel Pfeffer has been named art director, succeeding Shem Law, who left. Pfeffer was associate art director at Lear’s. In addition, Robin Harvey has been named creative design consultant, a new post. He had been art director at Lear’s.

THE X FILE: Another magazine aimed at Generation X is on the way. Called Manhattan File, the four-color publication is scheduled to appear every other week. It will be launched in August by News Communications Inc., whose chairman is Jerry Finkelstein. According to Cristina Greeven, editor in chief and publisher, the magazine will be an insider’s guide to New York clubs, movies, restaurants, stores and galleries and is aimed at readers in their 20s. It will be distributed free in restaurants, stores, health clubs and apartment buildings, at least for the first year. It will publish a preview edition on July 28 and begin circulation in September. Evan Schindler is publisher and director of advertising.

Each issue will contain short profiles of young talent, a feature called New York: Then and Now, and Urbanities, written by Tatiana Von Furstenberg, as well as a sex column, social column and music, club, restaurant and movie reviews. Manhattan File will do four to five fashion issues a year.

SECOND SOHO JOURNAL: The second edition of SoHo Journal will be designed by Robert Bergman-Ungar. The 250-page publication, which is a comprehensive guide to SoHo, will contain artwork by Rei Kawakubo, Yoji Yamamoto, Todd Oldham and Patrick Demarchelier. The book will be sold in September in bookstores and retail stores. The proceeds from the publication benefit SoHo Partnership’s programs, which provide employment opportunities to the homeless.