GOODBYE GUCCI: Former Dutch editor in chief Matthias Vriens and big fashion houses do not get along. Just seven months after joining Gucci Group as senior art director, Vriens has resigned, saying he plans to pursue photography full-time in New York. At Gucci Group, the often controversial Vriens worked with group creative director Tom Ford on all ad campaigns and visual imagery for its brands.
“Tom [Ford] and I are friends and we’re parting as friends,” Vriens told WWD. “But I am not a corporate structure man.” The Gucci stint was Vrien’s second stab at working for a major Italian house. For three months earlier this year, he was creative director at Giorgio Armani.
“Matthias has an incredible visual sensibility and a very modern view of the world,” Ford said. “I wish him all the best in his new career.”
A Gucci spokeswoman said a successor will not be named and that Ford would work with various art directors on a freelance basis.
Vriens’s most recent claim to fame is an exhibition in New York of erotic drawings of young men in hotel rooms. Vriens said he plans to do a book of photos of “men taken by men.”
TIME OFF: Joan Juliet Buck, editor in chief of French Vogue, has decided to take a leave of absence for two months. Buck, who has also been shepherding a couple of other projects, including launching the French Vogue Web site and serving as editor in chief of Air France Madame, which is published six times a year, will return in December to work on the February issue.
Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Conde Nast International, said, “She has my complete support in making this decision. I look forward to her return to French Vogue in December.”
SEEING DOUBLE: Amy Spindler, style editor of the New York Times Magazine, is feeling a bit knocked off these days.
She said she believes the Los Angeles Times Magazine is plucking her contributing writers and photographers, namely Peter McQuaid and Lisa Eisner, who collaborated on “Rhinestone Wow Girl,” in last week’s issue. A similar story appeared in August in Fashions of the Times.
And Spindler said she thinks the L.A. Times Magazine copied her Footnotes page, which she runs at the back of her fashion spreads, listing resources, references and the behind-the-scenes story. The L.A. Times Magazine devoted more than a full page to short items about books, stores and merchandise that related to the Western fashion story.
“I guess all the creativity in Hollywood goes into the movies, not the magazines,” said Spindler, when asked to comment on the similarities. “But there’s plenty of ideas where that came from.”
Judy Prouty, style editor of the L.A.Times Magazine, said she’s done footnotes to fashion stories twice. “It’s a good idea and I’m a huge fan of that [New York Times Magazine] style section.” As for the coincidence of using McQuaid and Eisner for the rodeo piece, she said, “I had assigned it to Lisa Eisner and Peter McQuaid, who both live in L.A. The rodeo queen was from California. The story got held for a while. I think it’s only natural to focus on something from L.A.”
MOVING UP: Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure and editorial director of the Travel + Leisure Group, has been promoted to senior vice president and editorial director of American Express Publishing. In her role, she also provides editorial oversight for Departures, the Custom Publishing Group and online editors.
Corky Pollan, the Best Bets editor of New York magazine for the past 15 years, will join Gourmet magazine Tuesday as style director. She succeeds Marjorie H. Webb, who retired. Pollan will write byline features in the up-front Good Living section, beginning with the February issue, and will do prop styling for photo layouts in sections like Gourmet Entertains.
Rip Georges has been named acting art director of InStyle, succeeding Shawn Young, who, as reported, left the magazine.
Marian McEvoy, editor in chief of House Beautiful, has tapped Ellianna Placas as fashion editor, the first time House Beautiful has named an editor to cover the fashion industry. She has been a fashion stylist.
Kristina Richards, associate editor of New York magazine covering the fashion scene for the Gotham pages, has joined Harper’s Bazaar as a fashion writer.
Diane Salvatore, a former editor in chief of YM, has been named to the new post of executive director of Marie Claire.
And, Elle magazine, under new editor in chief Roberta Myers, has named Laurie Abraham, former features editor of Mirabella, as executive editor. Rachael Combe, former senior features editor of Glamour, has become managing editor, and Alexandra Siegel Postman, former executive editor of Women’s Sports & Fitness, has been named senior features editor.
FIRM PLANS: The Firm, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company has hired David Schulte to develop domestic and international licensing and merchandising opportunities for its properties, which include such music groups as Backstreet Boys, Korn and Limp Bizkit as well as other film and TV properties.
Schulte was formerly with Jerry Leigh Entertainment, in a similar post. Joining Schulte will be Roxsanna Mobley, formerly director of sales at Sony Pictures’ Consumer Products division.