OBSERVATION DECK: Obsession magazine, the monthly supplement of the French newsweekly L’Obs, is becoming O. The makeover will be unveiled in the issue due to hit newsstands Thursday. This comes a few weeks after the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur underwent a revamping and was renamed L’Obs.
“The new name reflects our filiation to L’Obs,” said O editor in chief Arnaud Sagnard. “It also shows that we belong to the same press family as T and M magazines. These magazines are aesthetically beautiful and have a strong content.”
Sagnard, who previously headed news, investigation and reports at GQ France, said the new magazine is “modern, elegant and anti-conformist.” There is a new baseline: “O, le cahier de tendances de l’Obs” (or “O, the trends book of L’Obs.”) “It’s younger, more curious, less predictable,” Sagnard added.
Audrey Elbaz was tapped as artistic director and Barbara Loison will continue to head fashion.
The issue runs 148 pages, with advertisers including Chanel, Lancel and Cartier.
O will have ten issues per year, versus eight for Obsession.
The cover of the first issue is dedicated to the running phenomenon. Inside, there is a six-page profile of Françoise-Marie Santucci, editorial director of French Elle.
There is a new section called “L’Atelier” — with the first one featuring Hermès’ saddlery workshop, one dedicated to the business of fashion and another one featuring a personality’s look at his/her workplace.
In 2013, paid circulation of Le Nouvel Observateur in France was 498,558, down from 503,371 in 2012, according to France’s Audit Bureau.
The French newsweekly was recently acquired by Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, the triumvirate that also owns Le Monde group.
Sagnard recently succeeded Olivier Wicker, who is to become editor of Le Monde d’Hermès. The first issue under his direction will come out in fall 2015.
Wicker succeeds Stéphane Wargnier at Hermès’ biannual magazine. Wargnier was named executive president of the the Fédération française de la Couture du Prêt à Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode earlier this year.