Wells will create a 12- to 16-page beauty report that will run inside September subscriber copies of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Town & Country. For subscribers to more than one of those titles, the portfolio — which will include trend reports, essays and photography — will only appear in one magazine. An official title for Wells — as well as for the supplement itself — is still being worked out.
Clinton referred to the changing of the guard at Condé Nast, which has been in the process of restructuring its business. Wells, along with much of Allure’s masthead, was let go late last year; Michelle Lee was brought in to helm Allure and has since added her own team.
Clinton said Wells would continue writing for The Cut, but her role at Hearst would give her a “national” stage to write about all categories in the beauty sector.
“We like having big, influential voices being part of our brands,” said Clinton, who compared Wells’ addition to the company’s hiring of Carine Roitfeld in 2012, after she exited Condé Nast’s French Vogue two years before. Roitfeld currently serves as Harper’s Bazaar’s global fashion director, a role that allows her to create portfolios for the magazine’s 32 editions. She also oversees her own magazine, CR.
“I’m excited to follow in the high-heeled footsteps of Carine Roitfeld in preparing a special section for Hearst,” Wells told WWD.” The project is exactly what I love to do — come up with ideas, find new ways to show, report, and write about beauty, and identify the best products and trends in a provocative, lively package.”
Like Roitfeld, Wells’ report will supplement the coverage that already exists in the four aforementioned titles. She will not replace the current beauty reports in those magazines.
“It’s like in a symphony orchestra with a guest performer,” Clinton explained. “If Yo-Yo Ma is performing, it doesn’t take away from the symphony but it adds an extra punch.”
Wells’ work will also appear on Hearst’s digital network, but the details of that are still being worked out. It is expected that the portfolio will likely appear in Hearst’s other titles that carry beauty content such as Cosmopolitan and Seventeen down the road.
For the moment, there is no advertising in Wells’ portfolio, but Clinton noted that he expects beauty clients to jump on board to advertise in the issue. “We’ll surround it [with ads] and [cover] wrap it, the way we do,” he said with a laugh.