Yesterday at The Paley Center for Media in New York, Glamour EIC Cindi Leive conducted a public interview about the future of Condé Nast with CEO Charles Townsend, really pressing him the way anyone would press their boss in a room filled with industry colleagues.
Considering how rarely he grants interviews, Townsend was at no loss for words or emphatic hand gestures. Despite an abysmal advertising climate and plenty of reports of lackluster revenue at other major print venues like the Times, he believes Condé is sort of like the media company equivalent of True Blood's Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi: go ahead and bury him, but after a season he will emerge from his concrete grave stronger and more terrible than ever before.
Um, Townsend seems to believe the publishing company's future, like its past, lies in print media — or at least, in the magazine format they've established across their various properties. Townsend says digital grew at only half the rate they expected in 2012, and that the company's revenue stream still relies largely on print circulation. Tablet users, however, now account for about 10% of Condé's readership, and the company is able to seamlessly translate its magazine-style content to the new technology.
“Our print business, even in the worst moment, continues to grow and the margins are sharper and the gross profit margins are mouthwatering. When this economy recovers, the print business is going to be on fire.”
It's not like I can tell anyone how to do their job — and especially not Townsend, who uses so much jargon and fluffy marketing-speak, I'd be impressed if even he knew what he was saying half the time.
But entertain me for second: what if your print business does well because 1) you know how to put out a great print product and 2) you continue to devote lots of resources to those departments? What if your digital business is suffering not because there's no future in digital, but because you aren't dedicating the attention, manpower, and resources required to succeed in online media? And what if, in the future — "when the economy recovers" — it's not the print business that is going to be "on fire" but the digital business? Won't that make your company increasingly less relevant, no matter how well it excels at putting out a traditional magazine and translating the layout to an iPad?
I bet there's a German word for the feeling you get when you're watching a streaming video about our exciting print magazine future:
Taking in the cover of Numéro’s latest issue, with Sigrid Agren tarted up in bright makeup and green velvet Gucci, her nipples bared for all the world to see, you might guess or assume that Terry Richardson is responsible for the image. But, you’d be wrong. Sigrid and her teeny tiny nipples were photographed for Numéro by apparent Terry-wannabe Katja Rawles. The image is more bizarre than it is overtly sexy; all it does is reek of some sort of attention-getting desperation and emphasize that Sigrid’s got the chest of a teenage boy.
“It looks pervert-ish and not fashion at all,” Bertrando3 commented. “You can have artistic nudes or parts of the body showing but it has to be done with a certain creative and taste, this looks bad.”
“The cover is so laughable,” thiago:) thought. “They had much better shots. I just can't see anything fatale at all.”
LagerfeldBoy wrote, “Oh, I'm not used to seeing Sigrid doing images like that. I don’t know, I feel like I would've loved it if her nipples weren't exposed. The velvet fabric from the Gucci dress showing with the strong facial expression and the strong makeup look were good enough, so the nipples seems, erm, a little distasteful. Nonetheless, her editorial is flawless. Kudos to Georgina [Graham] for the stunning makeup looks.”
Numéro apparently loved the nipple shot so much they also printed it in Sigrid’s editorial (I’ve spared you the nipple repeat by omitting it here). There’s more to this issue than Sigrid’s nipples though. Look out for a black and white editorial called La Guerriere featuring Liya Kebede photographed by Ben Hassett, Lonesome Girl featuring Querelle Jansen photographed by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello, Fatale featuring Ginta Lapina photographed by Santiago & Mauricio, and Strip featuring Keke Lindgard photographed by Greg Kadel.
Taylor Swift should be on top of the world: she's just released a new album, she has that partnership with Keds, everyone in America wants to know what's inside her refrigerator, she wears really cute outfits, and has really good hair. I just bought a Diet Coke because she mentioned liking it in an interview and I'm twenty-four years old.
Taylor Swift has our attention right now, and in a big way. I can't imagine what it must feel like, but I'd guess it's scary and exhilarating in equal measure, like being stuck at the very top of a roller coaster, right before the dip.
As good as things are for her on a professional level, she is apparently no longer dating her most recent boyfriend, Conor Kennedy. I just really hope this news doesn't hurt her album sales.
Anyway, she seems really confused and miserable about her revolving door love life. So sad. (Really though.) Yesterday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the TV host made the pop star sit through a slideshow presentation of her exes. “This makes be feel so bad about myself," Swift said, "Every time I come here you put like a different dude up there on the screen. And it just makes me really question like what I stand for as a human being."
Yeah, that sounds like a yucky feeling. But luckily, I'm pretty much an expert at all things, so I know exactly what she can do to bypass this issue in the future:
Nothing. Love hurts. Being 22 is weird. Being famous is probably even weirder. Cauliflower is in season right now. Go sautee some with a couple cloves of garlic.
Terry Richardson is perhaps the most beloved creeper in the world, a total genius at taking unremarkable and repetitive pictures of models and starlets as sexual objects. It's also been alleged that he might belong to the "Maybe this shoot would be going better for you if you were touching my penis? Just saying…" school of fashion photography. Still, he continues to get so much work we can comfortably call him one of the most successful photographers in the industry.
"But he's Terry Richardson," people say to me when I complain about him. As if that fact had somehow escaped me, as if him being Terry Richardson weren't the whole of the problem.
I'm just really disappointed to see this new shoot he did for GQ Style, with the boys of Girls. Not because it's boring (but it's totally boring, btw), but because Girls is supposed to have 1) standards and 2) industry clout: unlike some struggling model hoping for a big break, someone either at the show or at HBO could have asked GQ to *hire another photographer.* I'm sure it would be hard to find a replacement, but I bet an enterprising intern could track down another New York City-based pro to take some goofy portrait shots in front of a white wall.
Get ready to be charmed, revolted, and confused all at the same time, as you watch child actors impersonate some of the most public of fashion's public figures.
Fashion and lifestyle website The Coveteur (which photographs extremely attractive and fashionable people in their natural — and enviable — habitats) put together "The 'Mini' Coveteurs," a short film-thing, to celebrate its redesign, a radical new face characterized by, according to WWD, "a new logo and twice the number of photos." Hashtag bombshell.
But whatever the impetus was for creating this video, I support it. At long last, we get to see Anna Dello Russo and Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour and BryanBoy and etc. in child form, finally realizing fashion's greatest fantasy: aging backwards.
Agyness Deyn is not like, Officially Retiring From Modeling — she's just not really modeling anymore, OK? [Fashionologie]
You should check out The Carrie Diaries because don't even pretend you're not going to watch it. Oh, is that just me? [BellaSugar]
If you'd like to see Jessica Biel's wedding gown you're totally welcome to. [SheFinds]
I wish I could wear an outfit that was J.Crew accessories and nothing else. [FabSugar]
Mario Testino was single-handedly responsible for Gisele Bundchen's entire career, which is a weird thing to think about, in that I don't really care one way or another about Gisele's career. Haters probably feel differently. [AmyGrindhouse]