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AGGREGATING STYLE: As politics and fashion become more intertwined thanks to the Obama administration, The Huffington Post sees its style section as a major potential growth platform and is putting more editorial and sales efforts behind the channel. The site has hired Samantha Fennell as executive director, sales, to oversee the fashion and luxury categories for the site. Fennell was most recently associate publisher at Elle, and spent eight years at Condé Nast in various sales positions, including advertising director at Vogue.
The HuffPo’s fashion coverage ranges from headlines on Michelle Obama’s fashion credits and Cindy McCain’s new haircut to essays on personal style and photo essays on subjects including “The Morning Joe” personality Mika Brzezinski’s shoe collection, which she keeps underneath her desk on air. “It’s been one of our most successful sections, especially now with this intersection of D.C. and style. It’s the perfect nexis for The Huffington Post,” said the site’s founder, Arianna Huffington, who also said it’s one of the most comment-filled sections.
This month alone, the site roped in Donatella Versace to write a style blog; her first post reflected on her presence at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Versace is the latest in a line of fashion guest bloggers that includes Donna Karan, Claudia Cividino, Nanette Lepore and Kenneth Cole. Last week, one of its regular style contributors, Lesley M.M. Blume, got a deal with Chronicle Books based on a series of columns she penned for the site. “Let’s Bring Back” is about the items, trends, fashions, icons and other nostalgic paraphernalia that were once celebrated — her recommendations have included clean air, duels, supermodels of the Sixties and Seventies and Claudette Colbert films. — Stephanie D. Smith