NEW YORK — The second women’s fashion issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine ships with this Sunday’s edition of The New York Times with actress Ziyi Zhang on the cover and, inside, a lengthy profile of Karl Lagerfeld by Times’ chief fashion critic Cathy Horyn.
A year ago, T’s editor Stefano Tonchi arrived at the paper with ambitious plans to blend the Times’ Part 2 series of glossies into a regular general interest monthly magazine, albeit one that happened to be tucked inside a regular Sunday newspaper. Since then, the former creative director of Esquire has continued to grow the brand into an attractive vehicle for luxury advertisers, though his original lofty goals have been replaced with slightly more realistic ones.
“We have the possibility to be much more receptive to the needs of the advertisers and the readers this way,” said Tonchi, who is reconsidering his original plans to shift T’s publishing cycle to a monthly calendar in 2006. He added that it’s still possible T would one day be published on a designated Sunday each month, though unlikely.
“With T, we don’t have to have an issue in June if there is no need for it,” he said. “That’s what I’ve learned [in my first year as editor]. That’s the kind of the freedom you have here.”
The current business model has, so far, proven to be quite profitable for the Times. The New York Times Magazine, including T, was the second-highest ranked national magazine in ad pages in 2004 and posted a gain of 104.7 pages from the previous year. It is the third year in a row the magazine has finished in the top five, according to The Publishers Information Bureau. New advertisers in the spring women’s fashion issue, which is up 16 percent from the previous Part 2 spring women’s fashion issue to 139.5 pages, include American Express, Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Chopard, Graff and Harry Winston.
“In the ad community, there is a particular interest in newspaper supplements,” claimed Tonchi, adding the supplements are seen as an alternative to monthly fashion magazines.
In fact, the response from the advertising community has been so strong that T will be publishing a 13th issue in December during the holiday season. “It will be an extended version of what used to be editors’ choice in the weekly magazine,” said Tonchi. “The best in design, the best in food, who we think is the best designer of the year. We already have ‘The Originals,’” he added. “Maybe it’s a hall of fame. Right now, it’s an editors’ choice.”