Though Portfolio cuts a wide swath with advertisers, Carey sees room for improvement in the automotive and travel categories. Still, Lexus bought 10 pages in the premiere issue to launch its new branding campaign, Cadillac bought the back cover and the premiere issue carries ads from Flexjet, British Airways and Loews Hotels. Carey said he expected the fall issues would carry over 100 pages of advertising, since 10 new advertisers have already signed on to the next issue, in September, and 90 percent of advertisers in the debut issue will return then.
Portfolio starts at a 350,000 rate base and goes nationwide on April 24, and the newsstand draw is expected to hover around 200,000, with heavy distribution at airports and bookstores.
The magazine appears as nearly every business magazine competitor is busily trying to preempt Portfolio's aesthetic emphasis, which, as crafted by design director Robert Priest, evokes Lipman's oft-stated "Vanity Fair-meets-The New Yorker" philosophy. But Portfolio's executives are playing up their differences. For example, in a converted 11th-floor conference room, a place Carey likes to call his "idea lab," black leather couches from Design Within Reach are accessorized with throw pillows. On one side of each pillow is the gray pinstripe often used in Portfolio's branding; on the other, fuchsia satin is meant to signify luxury and includes a corner strip of the magazine's logo. "[Advertisers] come here, admire the pillows, and by the time they get back to the office, there's one waiting for them," said Carey proudly. Quotes from media coverage of the launch are printed on boards leaning against the walls, including one from Gawker: "Eventually We Will All Be Working for Portfolio." — Irin Carmon and Stephanie D. Smith