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GONZALEZ ADDS T&C: Hearst Magazines has come up with a solution for the problem of Edward Leida, the design director of Town & Country who left in May after overseeing a redesign. The company has instead decided to have Alex Gonzalez, artistic director of Marie Claire, pull double duty for Town & Country. The move, effective immediately, hands Gonzalez oversight over the creative staffs of both magazines.
The influential nature of the appointment, which was made by Hearst Magazines president David Carey, reflects the esteem Gonzalez commands in the industry after acclaimed creative turns at GQ, Mirabella and, most recently, W, while also saving Hearst the costs of hiring an entirely new design director for Town & Country.
“A great talent like Alex has creativity and imagination in excess,” Carey said. “This is an opportunity to showcase his versatility as he brings distinctive artistic direction to two powerful brands.”
Gonzalez will report to Marie Claire editor in chief Anne Fulenwider and Town & Country editor in chief Jay Fielden. Gonzalez said the two brands are vastly different.
“Marie Claire is a magazine for a very ‘now’ woman that absolutely loves style and fashion, but is also committed to the environment and political issues,” he said. “Town & Country is about attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”
He sees couture and high-end jewelry playing a more prominent role in the magazine. Gonzalez also said won’t be attempting a wholesale redesign of Town & Country — he said Leida’s had been successful — but will instead focus on heightening the photography and acting “as a brand ambassador to the creative industry.”
After leaving, Leida, who spent two decades with Fairchild Publications and was one of Fielden’s first major hires, joined Barneys New York in June as vice president, design director.