Memo Pad: Getting Back In Style

For the last year, the top brass at Time Inc. sought to reinvigorate In Style Magazine.

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High-rise condominiums in Manhattan have been erected in less time than it took In Style magazine to formulate a redesign. For the last year, the top brass at Time Inc. sought to reinvigorate its fashion and celebrity magazine with additions to the top of the masthead — editor at large Ariel Foxman, deputy managing editor Eilidh MacAskill, recruited from the U.K.’s Happy, and creative director Rina Stone, who joined from People — and changes to its covers and editorial sections along the way. But the August issue will bring about a noticeable new look for the 14-year-old title, which has faced intense pressure from both fashion and celebrity competitors.

The new look is more modern with a bigger focus on fashion and beauty, demonstrated through bigger pictures, bolder headlines, and new sections including “What’s Hot Now” and “Shop It.” And there’s a go-girl editorial tone with plenty of exclamation points, ellipses and liberal use of the word “love.”

“Our marketplace has become very crowded both on the fashion front, with everyone using celebrity and treating service in the way that had become very familiar for In Style, and on the weekly front, where the celebrity magazines had encroached,” said In Style managing editor Charla Lawhon.

“When In Style launched, what people knew about celebrity was more limited,” added Lynette Harrison Brubaker, group publisher. “Now everyone knows everything about celebrity, so we have to keep more relevant. And it’s not enough to say celebrities are the only stylemakers because there’s 20 people around them in an entourage helping them make choices.” Thus, the redesign plays up fashion and includes more insights from the entourage in the know.

To accompany staffers like fashion directors Hal Rubenstein and Cynthia Weber-Cleary, In Style poached editors from the competition, including news editor Natasha Wolff and senior design editor Suzanne Karotkin (formerly of Harper’s Bazaar), and senior beauty editor Patricia Alfonso Tortolani (from Allure). The magazine also recruited Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan and stylist Isabel Dupré to become contributors. Doonan pens a monthly column, “Where Style Starts”; Dupré styled the redesigned cover shoot with Rihanna. Lawhon hopes Dupré will be a “frequent contributor” to the magazine. Profiles of Rachel Zoe, Isaac Mizrahi, and Rachel Bilson’s new clothing line for DKNY Jeans also appear in the issue.
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