Memo Pad: Figuring Out Luxury... Crazy 3-D Ads...

Having launched a luxury glossy amid the current economic downturn, The Wall Street Journal's quarterly magazine is trying to roll with the punches.

The Wall Street Journal Fall 2009

The Wall Street Journal Fall 2009

Photo By Courtesy Photo

FIGURING OUT LUXURY NOW: Having launched a luxury glossy in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Depression, The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly magazine is trying to roll with the punches while still attracting those choice advertisers. The September issue, appearing this weekend, has a package on “the changed state of luxury,” examining post-recession changes in diamonds, accessories, real estate and Champagne.

An unbylined essay, “Rough Luxe,” suggests fashion and luxury in general might take hints (or might be taking hints already?) from interior design, where mixing salvaged or worn items with modern or luxurious ones has long been de rigueur.

WSJ.’s new publisher, Sophie Raptis, only recently began and wasn’t involved in this issue, which has a total of 33 ad pages. (The title’s first two issues in September and December of 2008 had 51 and 45 pages, respectively).

The magazine increasingly looks like the second coming of Men’s Vogue (shuttered by Condé Nast last year). WSJ.’s deputy editor, Owen Phillips, came from Men’s Vogue before it closed, and the September issue has contributions from former Men’s Vogue staffers like Mark Rozzo, Taylor Antrim and Sara James, as well as The New Yorker’s Lauren Collins, who often wrote for Men’s Vogue.

— Irin Carmon

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