AT HOME WITH HAMISH: Vogue Living is a go for November, with Vogue’s European editor at large, Hamish Bowles, at the helm. A spokesman for the magazine confirmed a 13th issue will be published this year, devoted to home, culture and style, and will ship to most Vogue subscribers and to newsstands.
The special issue was given approval in the past two weeks, after a months-long internal debate at Condé Nast about whether the company should take on any more new projects this year. In August, speaking about the development of the Condé Nast business magazine, chief executive officer Charles Townsend said definitively: “This takes us through 2007….Between [the launches of] Cookie and Men’s Vogue and this business publication, I would say our plate is rather full.”
Since then, Vogue editor in chief and the ever-extending brand’s editorial director, Anna Wintour, and Vogue group publisher Tom Florio seem to have beguiled executives and gotten the go-ahead — with the strong, albeit very early, numbers on Men’s Vogue solidifying their case. Condé Nast isn’t calling this an official launch, but the pattern is the same as Men’s Vogue, and Wintour’s editorial letter in Vogue this month teases that she hopes to launch Vogue Living “in coming years.”
Bowles has been the inside favorite to edit a Vogue Living offshoot — appropriately, Hamish means “homey or cozy” in Yiddish. But his busy travel schedule and infrequent trips to the Vogue offices had insiders wondering if he would be willing to spend more time in New York to work on the project. Vogue fashion news and features director Sally Singer’s name evidently also came up, though Singer is said to be too integral to the mother ship for Wintour to give her up to a potential launch.
While the U.S. version of Vogue Living — which already exists in Australia, Brazil and Italy — will undoubtedly be brimming with slick, seductive images of the glitterati at home, photos of Wintour’s country house on Long Island in the March issue of World of Interiors surprised media watchers accustomed to viewing her as the reigning arbiter of chic. Said one editor: “It was so chintzy and English. It looked like one big overstuffed pillow. It actually made me like her more because I thought, ‘Maybe her style isn’t so rarefied.’”
— Sara James
PEZ DISPENSED: GQ’s managing editor, Mary Gail Pezzimenti, seemingly was plucked from obscurity last week and handed a high-level corporate editorial job at Condé Nast. Pezzimenti was named editorial projects director, a new position for the company, which is the parent of WWD. She will report to managing editor of editorial operations Rick Levine and also will work with Condé Nast’s editorial director, Tom Wallace. The additional position in the department reflects the recent growth of the company and, in particular, Wallace’s portfolio. He now handles almost all of the Condé Nast monthlies and gained oversight of former Fairchild titles Jane, Cookie and Details in the most recent reshuffle.
A company spokeswoman said, “[Pezzimenti] will be working on projects that Rick and Tom are involved in….She is an experienced managing editor and is very well respected within the company.” Perhaps because she got her unconventional start working in Condé Nast’s human resources department? Prior to GQ, Pezzimenti worked at Details and Harper’s Bazaar. Replacing her at GQ will be Harper’s Bazaar managing editor Erik Meers, who has held the same position at Interview and Paper.
WRANGLERS HEAD WEST: Apparently, it’s a good time to be in the business of mixing celebrity and fashion. Starworks, a five-year-old agency that helps photographers with unconventional casting needs, is opening its third new office in six months. Harper’s Bazaar’s Allison Oleskey will relocate from New York, where she’s overseen the editorial division for the past four years, to Los Angeles to open a bureau there on April 1. Jauretsi Saizarbitoria, former entertainment editor of Jane, will take over Oleskey’s duties in New York.
This follows Starworks’ creation in January of a Munich branch and, in November, of a London office and a sister company, SW2, focused on mass market brands. While the bulk of Starworks’ business is still in booking covers and casting ad campaigns, according to James Grant, who founded the company with partner Alana Varel, its fastest growth is in “celebrity services,” such as dressing celebrities and product placement. And there are plenty of those. “There’s a real trust factor from the Hollywood community in Starworks because we’re fashion people,” Grant said. “We’re young, and we’re hungry, and it’s our business.”
— Jeff Bercovici