NOVA GETS A SECOND WIND

Byline: James Fallon

LONDON — Nova is new again.
The magazine, renowned in the Sixties and Seventies for its risque layouts and cutting-edge features, has been resurrected by British publisher IPC after a 25-year hiatus. IPC hopes the qualities that made Nova such a cult favorite then will work their magic now.
“When we started this project, we weren’t thinking about resurrecting Nova, but when we did the dummies, it was Nova — but in the year 2000,” said Rita Lewis, publishing director of the IPC Southbank Fashion Group that oversees the magazine. “The whole attitude, voice and language reminded us of Nova.”
IPC believes it’s the right time to bring back the monthly title because of the Seventies mood in fashion, Lewis said. All the causes the notoriously feminist Nova fought for have been won. Nova was regularly banned by the British government for features on homosexuality, drugs and sex.
“Now there’s a new agenda, and we have to become part of the new generation to help them achieve what they’ve set out to do,” Lewis said.
Nova is IPC’s first move into the upmarket end of fashion publishing. The company, one of Britain’s largest publishing groups, also produces the British edition of Marie Claire, Woman’s Journal, Family Circle, the teen Mizz and 19, and the interiors titles Homes and Gardens and Woman and Home.
IPC’s targets for Nova are small compared with these titles, with plans to sell about 70,000 copies a month, Lewis said. This still is larger than such other British style titles as I.D. and Sleazenation.
“We don’t want to sell just 30,000 copies,” Lewis said. “We want to take a quality product and prove that a lot of people like to purchase it.”
The first issue, which hit British newsstands Thursday, is 212 pages with 60 pages of advertising. Among the companies advertising in the first issue are Ferragamo, Sisley, L’Oreal, Mazda, Versace, Jigsaw, Ghost, Givenchy fragrances, Etro, Gucci, Lancome, Armani fragrances and Oil of Olay. A full-page ad in Nova, either color or black and white, costs about $14,000.
The magazine has drawn its team from most of Britain’s other top fashion titles. The editor, Deborah Bee, formerly worked at Scene, Cosmopolitan, British Vogue and The Daily Telegraph Magazine; art director Gerard Saint was at Scene, and fashion director Venetia Scott was at Marc Jacobs. Scott also is the partner of photographer Juergen Teller, who for the first issue photographed artist Tracey Emin at Alexander McQueen’s February show.
Other stories in the launch issue include an interview with actress Vanessa Paradis, a fashion shoot with Chloe Sevigny and a couture story with illustrations by James Jarvis.
The new Nova is the first of several launches in the U.K. this year. EMAP PLC will relaunch the former monthly Frank, which may be renamed, as a bi-annual this fall. Its magazine, The Face, is working on a biannual title code-named Pop, which also will launch in September. Such titles as The Face, I.D. and Sleazenation continue to grow in the niche end of the fashion market while Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle dominate the more mass market side.
“Nova may take readers from the style press, people who are looking for something a bit more extreme,” Lewis said. “We also are trying to introduce it to the mainstream fashion reader. It’s about taking the message to a wider audience, just like the original Nova.”