FACE TO SPIN OFF FASHION MAGAZINE
Byline: James Fallon
LONDON — The Face wants more of the style pie.
The British magazine owned by the Wagadon division of Emap plc will launch a biannual spinoff this September focusing on women’s and men’s fashion. The magazine, code-named Project Pop, will be overseen by Wagadon’s editorial director Ashley Heath and The Face’s fashion director Katie Grand, who formerly worked for Alexander McQueen and Givenchy.
Heath is targeting a circulation of about 50,000.
“Pop will be the creative vanguard of what we’re about,” said Heath, adding that many of the writers, photographers and stylists who work for Pop won’t work for The Face.
He also expects some of the advertisers to be different, although he said it’s too early at this stage to say which companies will advertise in the first issue.
“Pop will be very different from The Face. One of our central mantras is that it will be a fashion magazine, but we want a lot of fashion people to contribute non-fashion content.”
The launch of Pop is the first major expansion of The Face since Wagadon was taken over by Emap last July. In addition to The Face, Wagadon publishes Arena, Arena Homme Plus and Frank. Frank has ceased publication but will be relaunched as a biannual fashion magazine this fall.
Heath said the introduction of Pop results from the turnaround at The Face that’s taken place over the last six months under editor Johnny Davis. The magazine’s circulation rose 6 percent in the July to December period to 61,341, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. However, its circulation was down 14.1 percent in the 12-month period to December 1999. Industry observers said The Face had lost some of its cutting-edge focus under past editors and suffered in competition with such other rivals as I.D., Dazed and Confused and Sleazenation. It also was hit by the growth of such men’s magazines as FHM, FHM Collection and Maxim.
“Of course one reason for launching Pop was commercial,” Heath said. “But the other was that Katie and I felt that now that The Face is in a good place again, it was time for us to get involved in a new project.”
The introduction of a biannual addition to The Face is a natural for Heath, who formerly oversaw the biannual men’s magazine Arena Homme Plus.
“We want Pop not just to communicate on fashion and style but to literally be part of what is going on creatively,” Heath said. “Our feeling is that the door is wide open for this kind of magazine.”