OSCAR TALLEY?: Word has it that André Leon Talley will host the official Academy Award preshow on ABC Feb. 26. The project comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement that the Vogue editor at large will curate a retrospective fashion show of about 30 outfits at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills on Jan. 30. The invite-only runway/installation show will include famous ensembles worn by actresses through the decades, although it remains a work in progress. About 12 outfits have been secured so far, including the pale green Escada dress Kim Basinger wore when she picked up her best supporting actress statuette in 1998, two dresses from Sophia Lauren, Diane Keaton‘s white Ralph Lauren pantsuit, Sharon Stone‘s Gap turtleneck-Valentino skirt combination and Barbra Streisand‘s transparent Arnold Scaasi bell-bottom jumpsuit from 1968. But also on Talley’s must-have list: Ellen Barkin‘s Versace dress from 1993, a Halston gown worn in 1990 by Glenn Close and the dress Julie Andrews wore in 1965. Alas, like the Oscars themselves, this is a one-night-only affair. — Marcy Medina
A NEW REALITY: More magazine readers may be having trouble discerning the difference between editorial content and advertisements, but Elle fashion editor Nina Garcia apparently had no qualms about appearing in an ad campaign for BlackBerry — set to appear in the March issue of her own magazine. The ad, called “Ask Nina Garcia Why She Loves Her BlackBerry,” lists reasons she depends on it for her job. “At the fashion shows, photo shoots, editorial meetings, traveling or shopping, it doesn’t leave my side,” says Garcia in the ad. What about during filming of “Project Runway”?
The question is, does an editor risk losing credibility by momentarily taking off the edit hat for a piece of the ad game? Fashion editors, purposefully or not, regularly advertise a wide range of brands just by selecting what will appear on the cover and inside the pages of their magazines. The “Project Runway” judge said she was endorsing BlackBerry because she is addicted to it. “My husband teases me that it is permanently connected to my hand,” she said. And, she added that she used her BlackBerry to approve jpegs of layouts for the magazine. As expected, Garcia provided her own clothes for the shoot, appearing in a black dress by YSL. BlackBerry said it selected Garcia as a spokeswoman because of her profile from “Project Runway” and her significant role at Elle. — Amy Wicks
FAST CHANGES: Robert Safian has been named editor in chief of Fast Company, replacing Mark Vamos. He will also oversee the business end of the magazine, a unusual dual role.
This is only the latest change at Fast Company, which was sold last year to millionaire entrepreneur Joe Mansueto. Soon afterward, editor in chief John Byrne decamped for his old home at BusinessWeek, leaving his deputy, Vamos, in charge. Currently executive editor and third in command at Fortune, Safian became managing editor of Money at age 33, but left after six years to be an executive editor at Time. He is leaving Time Inc. shortly before another round of expected job cuts there. Fortune named a new managing editor, Andy Serwer, in late October.
“In today’s marketplace, being at a private company gives you more freedom to be aggressive and take chances,” Safian told WWD. He begins at Fast Company on Feb. 20.
Vamos has been given the title of “editor at large for Mansueto Ventures,” chief executive officer John Koten wrote in an e-mail to the staff on Monday afternoon. A source familiar with the proceedings said the search for Vamos’ replacement had been in the works for several months, and had involved top staffers already at the magazine.
Of Safian, Koten wrote: “Frankly, it’s no small relief to finally have him on my side. I also have to admit that I take some pleasure in having pried him away from Fortune.”
Safian said the magazine was “moving in a good direction now,” and noted the renewed interest in business titles, with the launch of Portfolio and the shake-up at Fortune, showed the category was “ready to emerge from its own troubled time.” — Irin Carmon
HIGH STREET HYSTERIA: It’s no secret that British gals love their high street fashions — from Topshop and Miss Selfridge to New Look and Primark. Now, they’ll have a magazine that celebrates the $100 designer looky-likey coat and fake Chloé bags — and snaps of celebrities wearing the styles. IPC, the British division of Time Inc., has joined forces with the French publishers Groupe Marie Claire to launch the weekly fashion and celebrity title Look.
“The high street fashion market has never been hotter, with today’s young women spending more than ever before on their weekly fashion fix,” Evelyn Webster, managing director of IPC Connect, said Monday. “Look will [attract] a whole new generation of women to this sector.”
An IPC spokesman said, however, that Look wasn’t trying to capture the readers of Grazia — the ultrasuccessful weekly women’s glossy published by Emap — but to appeal to a totally different demographic. He said Look’s editorial coverage would be firmly focused on mass market fashion brands, and would target a younger readership — women ages 18 to 30. In addition to fashion, Look will feature celebrity style and gossip, shopping advice and some real-life stories. Ali Hall, a former editor of Emap’s young women’s weekly More, has been named editor.
The launch is set for Feb. 6, and IPC said it wanted to sell around 250,000 copies of Look each week in the first year. It will invest 18 million pounds, or $35 million, in the title in the first two years. The cover price hasn’t yet been confirmed, but it’s expected to be lower than Grazia’s 1.80 pounds, or $3.50. The IPC spokesman declined to confirm advertisers in the first issue. — Nina Jones
LOSING ORDER: Self editor in chief Lucy Danziger on Saturday celebrated “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” actress Mariska Hargitay‘s 40-pound weight loss, and her power to boost newsstands sales at a dinner with 25 friends at STK in New York’s Meatpacking District. Hargitay got in model shape to grace Self’s January weight-loss issue after giving birth to son August last summer. During a toast, Danziger revealed the issue is on par to be the magazine’s best January sale in the last three years by a significant margin, and expects early estimates to grow even further. — Stephanie D. Smith
ROUND ROBIN: As the media industry shakes off the holiday languor and gets back to business, several new hires will be settling in for the new year. Real Simple has filled two more gaps in its lineup, plucking both from Oprah titles. Kelley Carter, formerly assistant style editor at O at Home, will be Real Simple’s new market editor for home, and Lygeia Grace will be senior editor for food, after being a senior editor at O: the Oprah Magazine. Meanwhile, at Men’s Health, publisher Jack Essig has promoted two business-side executives to associate publisher: Joyce Parente, who had been director of marketing and creative services, will be associate publisher for marketing, and Ronan Gardiner is moving up from ad director to associate publisher for advertising. And at Esquire, former CondéNet publisher Marcia Kline, who oversaw Style.com and Men.Style.Com, is joining as associate publisher under Kevin O’Malley. — I.C.