COSMO’S GUY: It’s now a month that Joanna Coles has been editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. Not that she’s counting.

“Cosmo days are like dog days. They’re longer,” she said Thursday from her office. Her contributions to the magazine are emerging slowly. One place where her input can already be felt is in December’s cover. Taylor Swift had already been shot before Coles’ first day, but the cover look is entirely hers. It features loud, poppy colors and typeface as well as alliterative Britishisms — “Crazy for a Kennedy!” blares the Swift cover line.

This story first appeared in the November 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


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In January, Coles will start exacting a stronger hand in the magazine’s design when the creative director she just hired, Paul Solomons, joins from British GQ. He’ll be the first new person in that position in 15 years, Coles said. Ann Kwong served as the design director until June.

Coles isn’t planning on a wholesale redesign of the magazine. She described it as a “refresh.” But she wants the covers to be as arresting as they were during the Francesco Scavullo years. Part of that means figuring out how to convey on the cover what’s sexy today, and so, when she interviewed Solomons, the conversation turned to body parts.

“We sat down and we talked for two hours about what we thought is sexy now. Is it cleavage? Is it legs? Is it all of it together?” she said. They’ve not yet arrived at a conclusion.

On Monday, Coles will host a women’s-only luncheon at Michael’s. Though it cannot be viewed as her official coming out — since her appointment, Coles’ made sure to get the word out there — it will be her first major event as Cosmo doyenne.

Honoring New York’s 100 most influential women — Diane von Furstenberg and Cathleen Black are on the guest list — it takes place on the same day as Glamour’s Women of the Year awards. Is Cosmo one-upping Glamour again? Swift was the Condé Nast title’s November cover. “Honestly, I had absolutely no idea,” the awards were that day, Coles said.