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Departures Magazine Takes Celebrity Detour

For the first time, the title has a famous face on its cover — a never-before-seen photograph of Mick Jagger that was taken in 1963.

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NO STONE UNTURNED: For the first time, Departures magazine has a famous face on its cover. “This, you’re probably thinking, was the one magazine left in the civilized world that didn’t traffic in celebrities to sell itself,” wrote Richard David Story in his editor’s letter for the May/June issue. It turns out not even Story can resist publishing a never-before-seen photograph of Mick Jagger that was taken in 1963, before he became a household name.

Photographer Terry O’Neill described the scene: “The boys were in the dressing room waiting to go on, and Mick was wearing this fur-hooded parka and lurking around. I got this one straight portrait out of him before he started sticking his tongue out — I got that one, too. But back then newspapers and magazines wanted clean-cut young men in suits and mop-top haircuts.”

Publisher Steve DeLuca said the cover represents a cultural moment for the title. “I’m not saying we’ll do this again, but it’s interesting to have a known person on the cover,” he said.

It appears the title is also having a moment on the ad side. The American Express Publishing title is up 20 percent in ad revenue for the first half, following a 45 percent jump in 2011. “We’re experiencing great growth. In this post-recessionary world, the luxury consumer is the only one that’s really spending,” said DeLuca.