ELLE ON EARTH:
Female icons long have served as the driving buzz factor for women's magazines. Now the Hachette Filipacchi Médias-owned French Elle has spawned an entire magazine devoted to the subject. Dubbed "Very Elle," the first issue of the new biannual glossy, with Amber Valletta on its cover, boasts a run of edgy fashion spreads featuring "It" girls. These include Chloë Sevigny in her New York loft; Charlotte Gainsbourg photographed by her sister, Kate Barry, in a faded rococo French hotel, as well as a shoot starring Rolling Stones offspring Elizabeth Jagger and Theodora Richards frolicking at the Joshua Tree National Park. Features include an interview with Youssef Nabi, director of L'Oréal Paris, as well as a profile of the hip French music video production team Jonas & François. The publication comes in a slightly bigger format than its mother magazine. "The approach is very visual, but there may be more text in the next issue," commented publisher Franck Espiasse-Cabau, who added that the concept may be picked up in other territories. "It's a creative way of working with icons that allows us to work with new photographers and have a different editorial approach than that of our weekly magazine, which is news-sensitive," he said. The title has a print run of 150,000 copies and is priced at 4.90 euros, or around $8. The next issue is set for October. — Katya ForemanBUILDING UP:
CondéNet continues its string of acquisitions to build out its online footprint. The company's online division Thursday acquired SFO*Media, publisher of travel blogs HotelChatter.com and Jaunted.com, to round out the content found on its travel destination site, Concierge.com. HotelChatter and Jaunted generate nearly one million unique visitors combined a month. HotelChatter covers hotels and lodging around the world, while Jaunted is a pop-culture travel guide. According to CondéNet president Sarah Chubb, Concierge.com drew 912,000 visitors a month in March. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CondéNet has been on a shopping spree since late 2006 — the company acquired wired.com from Lycos for $25 million, followed by Reddit.com. It also acquired NutritionData.com to complement both Epicurious.com and self.com. Chubb said that more acquisitions are likely this year, but did not name specific subject areas or properties. Beauty and fashion could be obvious areas of interest, since Condé Nast's media outlets specialize in those categories and there are plenty of sizeable Web outlets out there, given the growth of beauty and fashion bloggers online. — Stephanie D. Smith