Byline: Lisa Lockwood / With contributions from Peter Braunstein, New York / Samantha Conti, London / Patty Huntington, Sydney
THE FINE PRINT: “Some people sent me e-mails asking ‘where did you get that picture?” said Keith Kelly, media reporter for the New York Post, which ran a composite picture of a balding James Truman, wearing a caftan and beads in Thursday’s edition. The picture accompanied a story about the Conde Nast editorial director’s past month at a Buddhist monastery in New York.
Kelly said the great debate in the newsroom was whether to morph Truman’s hair out of the picture (it did), but it was definitely his face.
“The company story is so over the top, that people will read carefully and look at the fine type,” said Kelly. “But then there will be some that won’t.”
WWD learned that Truman spent several weeks at the Dai Bosatsu Zendo monastery in the Catskills.
Has Kelly heard from Truman about the story? “He may not be able to talk wherever he is,” said Kelly.
But, he added, “I heard even S.I. (Newhouse, chairman of Conde Nast) thought it was very funny.”
TOMMY LASSOS ANOTHER BUSH: Move over Lauren, your cousin is riding into Tommy Hilfiger territory. George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush, took some time out of his law studies at the University of Texas this week to do a little modeling for Tommy Hilfiger in Europe. He appeared at a photocall — alongside models Sonja Kinski and Leah Wood — at the opening of Tommy Hilfiger’s new Manchester, England store. One source said young George was just having a little fun, and that his relationship with the company was very relaxed. “He’s a serious law student, this was just a one-off appearance,” the source said. Bush’s cousin Lauren Bush is the face of Tommy Hilfiger jeans.
KNOW THYSELF: Once again, Self magazine is sponsoring Self Day, offering women a chance to take a break from the pressured work environment and squeeze in some personal time. This year, 17 companies will participate on April 16, including Aveda, Donna Karan International, Tommy Hilfiger Corp., Saks Fifth Avenue and Liz Claiborne. While employees of Claiborne will spend the day assembling care packages for military personnel stationed overseas, and Karan’s employees will be treated to free massages, Conde Nast employees will be given blood pressure tests and nutritional counseling in the lobby. And yes, we expect the lines will be really long at the blood pressure machine.
MOTHER JANE: Is there a baby in Jane Pratt’s future? WWD has learned that Pratt, editor in chief of Jane, is five weeks pregnant and is expecting her first baby in December. Pratt, 39, who’s engaged to Andrew Shaifer, recently revealed she’d like to launch a magazine for the 40-plus woman, but could a Baby Jane magazine be more likely?
GUESS WHO’S 20? Guess, whose cutting edge advertising has been the launching pad for a host of models and photographers, is turning 20. To celebrate, the company has created a 24-page onsert highlighting its ad campaigns since 1982. Featuring photographers such as Wayne Maser, Ellen Von Unwerth, Herb Ritts and Pablo Alfaro, the images range from Carla Bruni, Carre Otis and Claudia Schiffer to Anna Nicole, Eva Herzigova, Bridget Hall, Laetitia Casta, Valeria Mazza, Adrianna Lima and Megan Ewing. The exclusive onsert will be polybagged with the May issue of W.
WEEKLY UPDATE: Martha Nelson, the new managing editor of People, can’t be blamed for missing the Sara Jessica Parker pregnancy story in last week’s issue, as referenced in WWD earlier this week. That’s simply the fate of a weekly. Nelson called to explain that she began on a Monday and shipped her Dudley Moore issue on Tuesday. News of Parker’s pregnancy didn’t break until Friday, the day People hits the newsstands.
“I just want to explain to you that I’m working on a weekly magazine, not a daily. We closed the magazine on Tuesday and if Sara Jessica announces her pregnancy on Friday that would be three days after we close our magazine. That would not be in this week’s issue,” said Nelson.
So is Parker’s pregnancy the cover of this week’s People? Nope, but it’s an inside story with a small photo in the corner of the cover. The cover features Reese Witherspoon, with a story on Hollywood’s young brides. “That’s so In Style,” quipped one Hollywood observer.
Meantime, over at US Weekly, editor in chief Bonnie Fuller appears to have the magic touch when it comes to making an impact on the newsstand. Since taking over US Weekly in early March, the magazine appears to be trending between 30 and 40 percent ahead on the newsstand. In fact, Fuller’s double Oscar issue last month soared 50 percent ahead of last year’s double issue, said one source who’s privy to the numbers.
PREMIERE OR DERNIERE?: Tired of actors and actresses in their 40s, 50s and 60s hogging the covers of your favorite entertainment and film magazines? Well, Premiere magazine plans to remedy that. The Hachette title, whose May issue is as thin as a razor blade, has announced a new “signature” event entitled “The New Power,” honoring Hollywood players under the age of 35 — because God knows they don’t get enough gratuitous press coverage as it is — and aren’t really featured enough in Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issues. Aside from christening the new gimmick with an editorial spread appearing in the June issue, Premiere will host a luncheon — co-sponsored by Lancome — at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles on May 29.
Premiere’s “New Power” is an apparent attempt to preempt Entertainment Weekly’s “It List” of upcoming Hollywood players, which hits stands on June 21. Premiere’s “New Power” issue is the PG-13 version of its own May “Power 100” issue listing the usually over-35 year-old Hollywood power brokers.
The question is whether there’s enough “power” to go around, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The beleaguered Hachette title has seen a 37 percent drop in ad pages between January and April of this year (versus a relatively benign drop of 9.5 percent for rival Entertainment Weekly), the installation of editor in chief Peter Herbst hasn’t followed up on the more ‘in-your-face’ coverage hinted at in the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit piece that ran in March 2001 under editor in chief Michael Solomon.
BRIDES ‘R’ US: New York magazine keeps trying to find new revenue niches to help prop up its struggling parent Primedia. In an attempt to capitalize on the burgeoning bridal market, the magazine will publish its first New York Weddings, a freestanding issue that hits newsstands Monday and will be on sale for three months. Some 75,000 copies will be distributed, selling for $5.99 apiece. Aside from stories on topics such as interfaith marriages, the issue includes 600 sources for planning one’s wedding from flowers to honeymoons — all with a New York sensibility.
The issue contains 60 ad pages from such companies as David Yurman, Judith Leiber, Gucci, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Fortunoff, Georgette Klinger, Kleinfeld, Amsale, Scott Kay Jeweler and Clarins. Jamie Rishar is featured on the cover wearing a Michelle Ross wedding gown. Tying in with the issue is a bridal showcase at The Ritz Carlton New York on Tuesday where advertisers will participate. Last year’s event attracted 450 women — presumably all brides-to-be or those hoping to become one.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE: Speaking of brides, the two leading national bridal magazines — Modern Bride and Bride’s — will walk “down the aisle,” to newsstands on the same day for the last time during New York’s bridal fashion week when the June-July issue of Modern Bride and the summer 2002 issue of Bride’s both hit stands on Tuesday. It will be the only time under the umbrella of the newly formed Conde Nast Bridal Group that both titles will debut on the same day. After that, they publish on an alternating cycle beginning with the August-September 2002 issue of Modern Bride.
DENNIS MOVES: Changes are in the works at Dennis Publishing. Carolyn Kremins, group publisher of Maxim, is taking over the same post at The Week, another Dennis publication. She succeeds Justin Smith, general manager-publisher who will relinquish his publishing duties, and will continue as general manager. Kremins reports to Smith.
Jamie Hooper, group publisher of Stuff, has been named group publisher of Maxim. Stuff general manager Mark MacDonald has become general manager-publisher.
LIP STICK: Australia’s immigration policies might be the subject of intense media scrutiny right now but fashion’s arguably the last place in which you’d expect to find it. The April edition of local niche title Australian Style attempts some lip service with a cover story on refugees and a fashion spread featuring models whose lips appear “stitched” together — courtesy of FX-specialist makeup artist Giuseppe Cannas. It’s a nod to the ongoing protests in and around Australian detention centers against this government’s mandatory detention of illegal immigrants and the time taken to process refugee claims — and notably an incident in late January involving 60 detainees who sewed their lips together.
A corresponding cover shot of a model with her lips sewn together was taken but pulled at the last minute after being deemed too controversial by management at Australian Style publisher Terraplanet. “I suppose you could see that as wimping out,” conceded editor Jacqueline Khui. “But we also didn’t want to upset our advertisers. It’s a very divisive issue.”
In Australia advertising across all media was down 14 percent in 2001 — and the last quarter down 18 percent (ACNielsen AdEx figures.) And publishers have been swift to cut losses. After last year’s shakeout in the home title sector, Pacific Publications pulled the plug on Australian Elle in February. Late last month Australian Consolidated Press announced it will close SHE after a nine-year joint venture with Hearst. But analysts say this is good news for the stayers: market leader Marie Claire, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and smaller players like Oz Style. “We hit rock bottom last October/November,” noted Focus Media analyst Steve Allen. “But we’re predicting growth will return to the market in the second half.”
NY MODELS’ PR SPIN: Public relations firm Spin Control, helmed by Ronald Alan, has nabbed the New York Model Management account. The modeling agency reps such names as Guess girl Valeria Mazza as well as Omahyra, but their men’s division boasts some high-profile names as well, including Calvin Klein underwear model Travis (whose contract has been broadened for Fall 2002 to include jeans and fragrance), Matt Duffie (who appeared in this season’s D & G ads with Gisele and has been rebooked for next season), and novice model Chris W., who Bruce Weber is shooting this week for Abercrombie & Fitch’s next season campaign. The firm also manages the career of former New Kids of the Block heartthrob Joey McIntyre.
WHERE’S TEEN VOGUE?: Is the writing on the wall? Or only on Richard Beckman’s business card? Beckman’s new business cards list all 22 titles he’s selling as part of Conde Nast’s corporate package, as well as CondeNet. But there’s no listing for Teen Vogue. Granted, the teen title is still in test mode, but advertisers might possibly be interested in testing the title. No? Or, is Beckman just being thrifty in case Teen Vogue folds, and he won’t have to re-print new business cards?