Memo Pad: Luxury Times... Picture Stories... But Who's Counting...

Bernard Arnault is nothing if not tenacious.

BUT WHO'S COUNTING? Up until Kanye West's arrival, it would have been easy to characterize the crowd atop the Gramercy Park Hotel Wednesday, gathered to celebrate editor in chief Jim Nelson's decade at GQ, as more casual and less lacquered than that rooftop commonly sees. After all, assistants and fact-checkers were mingling with, or at least near, the top of the masthead — Nelson and publisher Peter King Hunsinger, among others — and excepting the likes of designers Thom Browne and Italo Zucchelli, the prevailing dress was distinctly rumpled. But there was West, who performed at a GQ party in Milan two years ago, and who, as crowd chatter had it, was angling for a cover.

For those keeping track of Nelson's succession of Art Cooper in 2003, that's 10 years at the magazine, not 10 years as editor in chief. That technicality drew some snark from a few party poopers. A spokesman for the magazine insisted that GQ had "consciously and seriously played down" the party, which had no photographer in attendance. (Not counting Terry Richardson and Mark Seliger, who were strictly off-duty.) Two reporters were invited, but assured coverage was not the goal. "This was definitely done so as not to conflict with or confuse anyone about the focus we have in 2007 on [GQ's] 50th anniversary," the spokesman said. Festivities for that occasion kicked off in Milan, with more expected in the fall. — Irin Carmon

PRESCRIPTION FILLED: Magazines saw an increase in ad spending for the first half of 2007, thanks to the drugs and remedies category, which scored double-digit revenue and page growth, at 17 and 11 percent, respectively. In fact, during the first half of 2007, magazines saw in increase in spending in eight major advertising categories, including drugs and remedies; toiletries and cosmetics; food and food products; apparel and accessories; direct response; media and advertising; retail, and public transportation, hotels and resorts. But not all categories fared as well — home furnishings and supplies proved to be the biggest loser in ad pages, down more than 14 percent for the first half.
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