LOS ANGELES, I’M YOURS: Paper is not a city magazine per se, but it’s easy to forget that, so strongly identified is it with New York’s various subcultures. Still, the title has plenty of readers outside the five boroughs, the largest chunk of them clustered in that other coastal media capital, Los Angeles. To give them their due, Paper is flying a menagerie of editors, writers, stylists, photographers and scenesters to L.A. next month, where they will spend five days hosting a marathon of parties, performances and competitions — and all while supposedly producing the February issue, which will be dedicated to the city.
Kim Hastreiter, who shares the title editor and publisher of Paper with partner David Hershkovitz, said the idea grew out of the magazine’s five-year-old Paper Project series, started as an antidote to the sameness of New York Fashion Week. Extending the series to Los Angeles was a natural idea, she said, not just because of the city’s influence on American and global culture, but because, in her view, L.A. needs Paper. “People don’t really mix together in L.A. as they do in New York,” she said. “I guess it’s the car culture. People tend to be ghettoized. The surfers don’t hang out with the fashion people, and the hip-hop people don’t hang out with the gays. So whenever we go out there, we like to mix it up.”
In this case, the mixing will take the form of art exhibits, a tailgate party, a New York-versus-L.A. tug-of-war contest and something called Gothercise, to be led by Kembra Phaler. The locus of operations will be Acme Gallery on Melrose Avenue, which will double as an office where Paper staffers will produce the February issue’s centerpiece: a portfolio on the “tribes of L.A.,” a group that runs the gamut “from low riders to socialities to Korean hip-hop people to strippers to Hollywood agents,” according to Hastreiter. Oh, by the way, everything will be open to the public, she added. “So it’s kind of a huge undertaking.”
— Jeff Bercovici
QUICK’S SLOW START: Evidence that the market for women’s weeklies is overtaxed continues to pile up. Sales of Quick & Simple, a new low-priced service title introduced earlier this year by Hearst, have fallen off considerably since the book went weekly at the end of September. According to projections supplied by an industry source drawn from a large sample of the title’s market, Quick & Simple, which retails for $1.49, has sold an average of approximately 70,000 to 80,000 copies per week since the frequency shift. Divided by the magazine’s print order of 500,000 copies, that yields a sell-through rate of only about 15 percent — far below the industry average of 34 percent. A Hearst spokeswoman disputed the accuracy of the figures, but declined to say where the company’s own projections put Quick & Simple’s sales. Meanwhile, All You and For Me, new low-priced women’s service titles from Time Inc. and Hachette Filipacchi, respectively, have also been met with weaker-than-anticipated consumer demand.
HOT MAMAS: Is Maxim finally growing up? In November, Nicollette Sheridan became the Dennis Publishing-owned lad title’s oldest cover girl, appearing on newsstands just in time for her 42nd birthday. Maxim follows that up in its December issue with Cindy Crawford, who turns 40 in February. Crawford, who notes in the interview that she is old enough to be Prince William’s mother, is Maxim’s oldest cover model since Gina Gershon appeared in October 2003. Has editor in chief Ed Needham developed a sudden new appreciation for the charms of the well-seasoned hottie? Apparently not: On Maxim’s January cover, according to a source, is Haylie Duff, age 20. “Guess they’re trying to average it out,” said the source. “Or save money on airbrushing bills.”