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TELLING ALL — AT LEAST ABOUT THE FACE: Plastic surgery may be a well-trod topic in women's magazines, but that doesn't mean their editors are volunteering how much of it they've had. So More editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour can hope to make at least a small splash with an unretouched photo and some very detailed credits: "Highlights to cover gray by Rita Hazan...strong arms from working out every morning, Botox (yes!) and collagen by Dr. Pat Wexler."
That's alongside a story in the June issue about women's reluctance to admit to plastic surgery — Seymour's idea, natch. "Everyone [on staff] said, 'We can't talk about plastic surgery, the reader's totally natural,'" Seymour, the former editor in chief of Marie Claire and Redbook, told WWD. "Then I went into the research and found out that our reader is 300 percent more likely to have had a beauty procedure than any other 40 year old."
The More that was created under Peggy Northrop (who decamped for Reader's Digest) is also getting, well, a facelift: It's hunting for a creative director to replace Maxine Davidowitz for a planned October redesign, there's a new beauty column and a monthly style icon profile that kicks off with Diane von Furstenberg. Earlier this spring, Seymour hired Judith Coyne, formerly of Good Housekeeping, as executive editor, and Regina Haymes, who worked for her at Marie Claire, as fashion director.
For Seymour, editing a niche title for women over 40 hits closer to home. "I don't have to be myself but 10 years younger, or be myself but more in the Midwest. I can be myself, and that's what's really, really fabulous," she said.
The magazine has been a rare growth story both with readers and advertisers, but it remains to be seen whether readers who embraced More for how it differed from traditional women's magazines will stick around for more fashion and beauty.
"It's not going to be Vogue, it's going to be us, but it's going to be more fashion oriented than it was," insisted Seymour, adding, "Peggy built this wonderful house. I get to redecorate."
— Irin Carmon