Women’s Wear Daily
04.16.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

For the Record... Luxury's New World... Extreme Makeover...

New York responds... Mickey Drexler's cover turn... Glamour has a makeover...

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Millard Mickey Drexler J Crews chief executive officer on the cover of Fortune
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FOR THE RECORD: The saga of Nina Garcia, Anne Slowey, Robbie Myers and the internecine warfare at Elle continues as New York magazine weighed in Tuesday with a response to Myers’ objections against its profile this week of Slowey and Garcia, “America’s Next Top Fashion Editor.” For those not up to speed, Myers on Monday told WWD she was disappointed with the article, particularly because, she claimed, author Maureen Tkacik did not speak with her about the details of her working relationship with Garcia and other staffers that are included in the article. The Elle editor in chief also claimed that neither Tkacik nor any other New York staffer called her to fact check information about her in the piece. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for New York responded: “Maureen’s story drew on many reliable sources — some on the record, and some on background. We stand by its accuracy.” — Stephanie D. Smith

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LUXURY’S NEW WORLD: J. Crew might not immediately leap to mind when the fashion world thinks of luxury, but Fortune clearly lumps the retailer into the category — it’s made Millard “Mickey” Drexler, the high-flying company’s chief executive, the cover boy of the magazine’s annual luxury issue. The fast-talking, hyperactive Drexler rarely gives in-depth interviews and hasn’t appeared on a magazine cover in 10 years, but he invited Fortune’s assistant managing editor John Brodie into Crew’s Greenwich Village offices to talk about taking the brand more upscale and also about Madewell, a new label that is more “jeans and boots rather than skirts and sweater sets.” In a meeting with designers and executives in July, Drexler tells the group, “You know what ends up on the markdown racks? All the weird colors. Guys don’t wear orange or citron.” He says the current retail environment is the worst he’s seen in 40 years in the business, so he encourages designers to produce merchandise that is “fresh and popular.”

Drexler is the centerpiece of the magazine’s roughly 40-page section on luxury, which includes a piece on how the sector is no longer recession proof and a story on Prada, by Suzanne Kapner photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Kapner writes that Prada chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli has indicated the fashion house will list on the Milan Stock Exchange by the end of the year. (However, Prada has been down this road several times before and called off plans for a listing and, in recent statements, has hedged on timing.) The reason for Kapner’s certainty a listing will go forward this time? “Bertelli, though, has little choice in his decision to go public: He needs the money. He and the rest of the Prada family are responsible for the $956 million in debt — most of it accrued through the failed acquisition spree — that is on the balance sheet of a holding company through which they exercise their control,” she writes. We’ll see.

New advertisers for the section include Ermenegildo Zegna, DKNY Men, Versace and Johnston & Murphy. Brodie said work began on the issue last winter but the tone of stories clearly represents today’s economy. “My colleagues and I are taking a snapshot of the fashion and retail worlds.” And, along the way, helping in the continual evolution of the word “luxury.” — Amy Wicks

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EXTREME MAKEOVER: The last few months have been a cleaning house period for Glamour. The fashion title, which has seen large declines in newsstand and ad sales, unveiled a redesign in the September issue. Now it’s making over its Web site to include more updated daily content, additional bloggers and content from other Condé Nast fashion and beauty magazines.

Glamour.com’s makeover, to be launched at the end of August, comes as syndication deals with MSN and Yahoo.com, and the growing popularity of the site’s bloggers, including “Storked” writer Christine Coppa and assistant health editor Margarita Bertsos, have helped grow traffic. As of July, the site averaged 687,000 monthly unique visitors, or 55 percent more than the same period in 2007 and 10 million page views, or a 49 percent growth over 2007, according to internal figures. Around July 4, the site attracted more viewers than it did in the entire month of July two years prior, thanks to MSN featuring Glamour’s Summer Dos and Don’ts on its portal.

The purpose of revamping the site, said Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor in chief, is to focus on the “four areas of ravenous interest for our readers” and “to get out of the Web site being the digital equivalent of the magazine.” The site will be organized around the main topics of fashion, beauty, sex and relationships and health. New features, news stories and blog posts will be updated throughout the day, with about 10 new stories in total across each subject. Glamour.com will also feature stories from other Condé titles, such as Allure and Self. Though glamour.com readers will be able to read entire stories pulled from other magazines, links back to the content’s original Web home will be included on glamour.com. With original content added to the site several times a day, only 10 to 15 percent of the site will be stories from the magazine.

Its existing bloggers on health, dating and fashion will be more prominently displayed on the site, and additional bloggers have also been hired. Former elle.com editor Tracey Lomrantz will blog about fashion, Sarah Jio will run a health blog, Vitamin G, and Joanna Goddard will pen a relationship blog, Smitten. Additionally, new editors have been hired to manage the expanded content — Susan Cernek, formerly fashion and beauty director for glam.com, will edit the fashion and beauty content while online lifestyle editor Lindsey Unterberger will handle sex and health content. — S.D.S.

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NEW IN BEAUTY: Late summer is meant to be slow in media, but it’s also prime time for personnel moves. The health and beauty sector is seeing a lot of action: at Elle, April Long has been named senior beauty and fitness editor. She was previously executive editor at Nylon. Former Self executive editor Dana Points was named editor in chief of Meredith’s Parents magazine, effective September 3. To replace her at Self, Carla Levy has been promoted from nutrition and diet director. Meanwhile, Self’s former deputy beauty director, Leah Wyar, has jumped to Fitness to be beauty director there. She replaces Gwen Flamberg, who went to Us Weekly.

New York magazine has seen three departures in recent weeks. Citysearch said Tuesday that it had hired online food editor, Josh Ozersky, whose Grub Street blog has been twice nominated for a National Magazine Award and won a James Beard Award this year. Nymag.com’s culture blog, Vulture, is losing co-editor Dan Kois — he’s leaving to write a book and will become a special correspondent to the Web site, said a spokeswoman for New York. And the magazine is in the market for a theater critic after Jeremy McCarter left for Newsweek earlier this month after three years in that position. Update your Rolodexes. — Irin Carmon

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