PRIVATE CLUB: Fashion magazine L’Officiel has tapped Vincent Darré, the fashion designer turned interiors maven, to design four issues, starting with October. Christmas, March, and June/July issues will follow.

Known for his whimsical universe, Darré was named “curator” of the magazine. “We wanted to break with a classic conception of a magazine,” said Benjamin Eymère, managing director of L’Officiel’s publisher, Editions Jalou. “We want to do a luxury piece.” There will be limited editions of Darré’s issues, which will be numbered and could have a different format.

This story first appeared in the June 3, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“[The idea with tapping Darré] was to surprise, and to alternate [Darré’s] refined issues with more mainstream issues [the six other issues of the year],” commented Eymère’s mother, Marie-José Susskind Jalou, president of Editions Jalou.

She said they already collaborated with Darré for the 90th-anniversary party of L’Officiel in 2011.

Darré said his inspirations were publications like British quarterly Flair, surrealist-oriented publication Le Minotaure or art magazine L’Oeil. “It is a mix of fashion and art,” he said. The magazine will have illustrations from the likes of Pierre Le-Tan.

Contributors for the first issue include Karl Lagerfeld, Deborah Turbeville in tandem with Catherine Baba, Serge Leblon, Dominique Issermann and Olivier Zahm.

“It will be a Parisian salon that resembles me. I invited my friends to participate,” Darré said.

In 2012, the paid circulation of L’Officiel in France was 59,710, down from 62,632 in 2011, according to France’s Circulation Audit Bureau.

Editions Jalou, a family-owned company that also comprises magazines including Jalouse, Optimum, L’Officiel Hommes, L’Officiel Art and L’Officiel Voyage, has big plans. After launching L’Officiel in Indonesia and Azerbaijan this year, it is planning to launch editions in Switzerland and Australia for 2014 or 2015, which would be bring the number of editions to more than 30.

It is also eyeing the U.S. market, where it would launch with a partner. “That would require an investment of $50 million,” Eymère said. Meanwhile, Jalouse will have Chinese and Russian editions before the end of the year. Editions Jalou generated a turnover of 31 millions euros, or $39.8 million at average exchange, in France in 2012, according to the company.

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