LIP SERVICE: John Huey got a lesson in soft, supple lips last Thursday. Time Inc.’s editor in chief sat in on a “beauty road test” with editors from Real Simple. The purpose? To vet lip balms for the August issue. According to several sources at Time Inc., Huey’s, um, face time at the magazine was part of an ongoing effort to better get to know titles he hasn’t previously overseen. Real Simple, where Huey also took in at least one photo shoot, was evidently his first stop. Next up (we’re guessing): Helping In Style’s fashion editors select the perfect fall boot.
— Sara James
STOP, SHOP & ROLL: Most magazine editors find it hard to break away from work for two weeks at a stretch. Karen Catchpole, Shop Etc.’s deputy editor, is skipping town for the next two years — longer, if she’s having fun. Catchpole and her husband, photographer Eric Mohl, are embarking on a 70,000-mile road trip through North, Central and South America. “There is no route, there is no itinerary,” said Catchpole, reached on her second-to-last day on the job. “We don’t believe in those things. We’re going to be going where there’s a story, where the weather’s good, where there’s a music festival.”
Their first stop, in fact, will be in New Orleans, for the city’s annual jazz festival. From there, it will up to Alaska and then…who knows? Those who care to can track the pair’s progress on their Web site, trans-americas.com. “The route’s going to look a little bit like a plate of spaghetti,” said Catchpole. “Don’t expect any straight lines.”
Catchpole and Mohl have experience at this sort of thing, having toured Southeast Asia from 1995 to 1999. The new voyage has been in the works for more than two years, since Catchpole was a senior editor at Jane. While the pair will freelance for a number of magazines to cover their costs, they also have secured sponsorship from Chevrolet, which has given them a Silverado pickup truck. From the sounds of things, Chevy couldn’t have picked a better spokescouple. “The Silverado is one of the most trustworthy, unbreakable vehicles out there, and we’re really going to be putting that to the test,” said Catchpole. “Central and South America? Not known for [their] good highways.”
Listening to Catchpole outline her plans is enough to make any adventure junkie jealous. “We’ll be spending a lot of time hiking, kayaking, biking, scuba diving,” she said. “If you get wet, sweaty, hot or dirty we’ll be doing it.” In fact, inspiring people to quit their jobs and take to the road themselves is part of their goal, she said. “It really is so much easier than people think it is. But you have to be unencumbered. You’ve got to agree that you’re not going to have a lot of responsibilities or own a lot of crap.” Unless, presumably, you found that crap by reading Shop Etc.
— Jeff Bercovici
FADE TO BLACK: Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint apparently has decided to heed the advice of its namesake and abandon its deal to publish “How to Wear Black,” a memoir by British fashion journalist Emily Davies. A spokeswoman said Wednesday that Scribner “has decided not to proceed with the book,” which reportedly drew bids in the high six figures when it came up for auction in December. The news followed reports in WWD that the book proposal, though written in the first person, contained material apparently copied from The New York Times, as well as anecdotes whose veracity was in dispute. Ebury Press, a Random House unit that agreed to publish “How to Wear Black” in the U.K., could not be reached for comment, but Davies’ agent said Wednesday: “It is full steam ahead with other contracts.”
Still, at least one person will be relieved at Scribner’s decision. Charles Scribner 3rd, grandson of the imprint’s founder, told WWD last week he would be “disappointed to see my family’s name on the spine of a book that took such liberties.”
GET STUFFED, JOE: Andy Clerkson‘s Dennis Publishing colleagues got one last chance to truly abuse him at his going-away party Wednesday night. As WWD first reported, Clerkson is leaving Dennis after 15 years there to move back to the U.K. Dennis rented out the bar of the Chelsea Hotel for the event, where the soon-to-be-ex-editorial director was presented with mock-up covers of Maxim, Stuff and Blender bearing his likeness. The Stuff cover featured a florid-faced Clerkson bent over a pint glass, amid a profusion of cheeky cover lines, such as “Drunk and Sweaty! Andy Clerkson Can’t Cool Down!” and “Justify Your Title! 427 Ways to Micromanage Anything!”
Another line contained a remarkably vulgar reference to Joe Simpson, singer Jessica Simpson‘s father and manager. Insiders said the joke referred to a recent strained negotiation between Dennis and the Simpsons over an upcoming Maxim cover. While Simpson has posed for the lad magazine before, she hasn’t appeared on its cover since June 2004 — before she had started rating covers from other, more selective magazines, such as Elle, GQ and W. While those publications are good for her social ambitions, her upcoming movie, “Employee of the Month,” is aimed squarely at the same young, male demographic Maxim reaches. “Maxim can open a movie,” said her publicist, Rob Shuter, adding that Simpson will appear on a “major women’s book” the same month. (The film’s release date has not been finalized.) According to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, Joe Simpson insisted the magazine use an “A-list” crew for the shoot, eventually agreeing to photographer James White and stylist Jessica Paster. He also exacted a promise that his daughter would be depicted in a relatively demure style, which an insider described as “retro pinup, very Fifties.” And for this a man gets labeled a #*&%ing @#$*?