Memo Pad: Ralph Lauren Fetes New Editor... Speaking of Elle Decor...

Ralph Lauren threw a party for Architectural Digest's new editor in chief, Margaret Russell.

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WWDStyle issue 03/07/2011

AND SPEAKING OF ELLE DECOR…: Don’t expect big changes. Michael Boodro, Margaret Russell’s successor as editor in chief of Elle Decor, isn’t going to redesign the magazine. He hasn’t had to hire a new staff. In fact, his attitude is the complete opposite of Russell’s at Architectural Digest: It’s still very much the magazine Russell left behind. But Boodro also hasn’t skipped a beat. Ad pages are up almost 40 percent March-to-March over last year.

“Peggy is an extremely talented editor, and she’s someone I loved working with,” Boodro said. “Of course, Peggy’s going to be competition now,” he added, “but Architectural Digest is a different magazine.”

His strategy at Elle Decor has been to “carry on and keep it fresh,” he said — “fresh” seeming to be a key buzzword in the shelter magazine category (see Russell’s quote above) and part of the largest, boldest line on Elle Decor’s latest cover, which announces “a fresh take.” He added a new page to the April issue called “Status Update.”

“Listen, I wish I could say it’s all me,” Boodro said about the magazine’s increasingly successful business. “That’s not true. The economy’s turning around, the furniture business is turning around.” He said it also helps that a handful of shelter magazines have closed.

Boodro was optimistic about Hearst’s acquisition of the title as part of its $900 million purchase of 102 titles from Lagardère SA. He’s worked in the Hearst Tower before, but he’s not entirely sure what changes are on the way. “I don’t know, but I suspect that there will be a little more oversight at Hearst on a day-to-day basis — or not day-to-day but issue-to-issue,” he said.

He isn’t worried about overlap or redundancy with Hearst titles, but does hope his magazine will move over to Eighth Avenue. “Our building [the Time-Life Building] is not so shabby, but we are — it would be nice if had a little bit more space. We’re cramped here,” he said. “You know, what I’ve heard is that there’s no room at the Hearst building, so I don’t know.”


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