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Posts Tagged ‘Stefano Tonchi’

David Zaslav, David Zinczenko and the Next Big Name in Fashion

1003_mockup.gifOn any given Wednesday, the Michael’s dining room is chock full of moguls (David Zaslav, David Zinczenko) and mavens largely known to faithful readers of this column, and today was no exception. Yet, every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to meet people who, despite their impressive accomplishments, have managed to keep a relatively low profile.

Today was one of those days thanks to David Thalberg, founder of The Thalberg Group, who introduced me to a fascinating woman. If you’ve never heard of Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Project Gravitas, trust me, you will. The Taiwanese-born, Ivy League-educated entrepreneur learned the ropes working at McKinsey & Co for 11 years, advising clients in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America on strategic issues for the firm’s global luxury fashion and beauty practice. And, it’s clear in talking to her, that the inspired ideas behind her new business have been percolating for a long, long time.

Armed with degrees in biology and political science from Yale and a lifelong passion for fashion, Lisa rose through the ranks to become McKinsey’s resident expert on the luxury and fashion markets. As such, Lisa gave plenty of keynote addresses at symposiums, including the American Express Luxury Summit. While living all over the world and developing her business acumen as her career progressed, she learned quickly that dressing the part was also a key strategy in building a successful career. Having been a size 22, size 8 and “now a proud size 12,” Lisa was determined to create a line of dresses that gave style-savvy women the fashion they craved and the self-assurance they needed. And that’s how Project Gravitas was born. “We are that dress,” explained Lisa. “The one you wear on the interview where you get that job, the one that inspires you to go to that party, the one that you slip on for that very important day. It’s the one you wear that makes you feel like, ‘Bring it on!’”

Lisa Sun and Diane Clehane

The collection of 10 ‘niche dresses’, available exclusively on Project Gravitas’ website, retail between $195- $295 with free shipping and returns (“By selling online, we can keep the retail price accessible”) and are manufactured exclusively in New York with fabrics from the finest Italian mills. Here’s the real secret ingredient that is sure to attract the attention of Spanx wearers everywhere: each dress is designed with built-in shapewear from high performance moisture-wicking fabric that is breathable and machine washable. Lisa told me, “I wanted to make the ‘treat me’ dress for the young executive who wants to trade up from Zara, the ‘super mom’ who wants to look good for date night. I think of these dresses as beautifully designed safety blankets.”

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Don’t Call W Magazine’s Coffee Table Book a Coffee Table Book

W magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special book out in stores this week. W: The First 40 Years, is a 340-page hardcover book that features a look back at the magazine’s history. It contains lots of photographs and new essays from writers such as Lynn Hirschberg, Marian McEvoy and Vince Aletti. But the most important thing you must know about W: The First 40 Years, is that it is not a coffee table book.

“It’s not just a coffee book. I really didn’t want a photography coffee book,” Stefano Tonchi, W’s editor-in-chief, told WWD. I wanted something people could actually learn from and learn about what the magazine is about. It’s about editorial choices. It’s not just about reproducing images.”

We’re pretty sure Tonchi means “coffee table book,” but no matter. Just remember, if you put the book anywhere near a coffee table — or even coffee! — Tonchi will come to your apartment and slug you.

Condé Nast Editors Go Hollywood

(Via ABC Family)

We’re not sure how many of you out there watch shows targeted toward teenagers, but if you’ve got room for one more in addition to “The Vampire Diaries,” and want to see some editors do some acting, you should check out “Jane by Design.” The ABC Family series premiers in January, and will feature appearances by several Condé Nast editors, including Stefano Tonchi, Amy Astley and Brandon Holley.

WWD reports that the partnership — which was hatched because Lynn Hirschberg, W’s Editor-at-Large, is good friends with “Jane by Design’s” producer — will benefit Lucky and ABC Family, because the network has a buy in the magazine and on its website.

“Jane by Design” is about a teenager who is mistaken for an adult and gets a job in a fashion powerhouse, thus forcing her to juggle her school life and career, all while protecting her true identity. Sounds about as realistic as “The Vampire Diaries.” Enjoy.

Alex White Leaves W

Alex White is stepping down from her position as Fashion and Style Director of W magazine to pursuit her own interests. White has been with the title for 16 years, and will be replace by Edward Enninful, who contributed for Town & Country.

According to WWD there might have been some drama behind White’s departure, but both Stefano Tonchi and White insisted that there wasn’t. White explained:

[We're] Totally on the same page. I helped with getting over the hump. Now it’s time for me to continue my freelance and explore the other things I’m working on.

Dave Remnick, Stefano Tonchi, and Josh Tyrangiel on the National Magazine Award Nominations

Yesterday the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the nominations for the 2011 National Magazine awards. The New Yorker led the pack with nine nominations, followed by New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and the Virginia Quarterly Review (all with six nominations), causing some to speculate as to whether having “New York” in your title guaranteed a certain amount of success.

New Yorker editor Dave Remnick spoke to WWD about whether or not Jane Mayer‘s profile on the Koch brothers could beat Michael Hastings‘ profile of Stanley McChrystal. “Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston, right? Princeton beat UCLA,” he said. “Anything can happen.”

W editor Stefano Tonchi also told WWD that he was particularly gratified that W received three nominations, because — due to his recent relaunch — the magazine “only submitted what [it] had — that was September, October, November.”

“I would never, ever, ever anticipate that your own estimation of your work equals a certain number of nominations,” said Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel, “unless you’re Adam Moss and David Remnick, who are generally always right about that.”

Alex Gonzalez Joins W As Creative Director

After realizing that he did not want to take on two roles at at once W editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi has tapped Alex Gonzalez to relieve him of his duties as creative director.  Tonchi and Gonzalez were introduced to each other in the late ’80s when Gonzalez served as creative director at L’Uomo Vogue.  Gonzalez will work  out of the magazine’s headquarters at 1166 Sixth Avenue and while his start date has not yet been determined, he anticipates he will have a hand in production of the September issue.

Gonzalez joins W at a good time as the title witnessed a 13 percent growth in ad pages in Tonchi’s first four issues as editor-in-chief.  He shared his thoughts on reuniting with Tonchi at W.

I consider Condé Nast my alma mater.  I started essentially my publishing career there.  We both have this international background and we look at W as an international brand.

Prior to W, Gonzalez co-founded AR New York and made stops at GQ, German Vogue, and Manner Vogue.

Stefano Tonchi Featured in Upcoming Episodes of Gossip Girl

FishbowlNY isn’t used to doing this, but: SPOILER ALERT.

Starting next Monday, January 31st, W and Stefano Tonchi, the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, will be featured in a story arc on the hit show Gossip Girl. Stefano will appear in the first episode, along with appearances from New York’s fashion elite as the show integrates the city’s Fashion Week into the plot.

As for the role of W in the storyline, viewers will see an excited Blair (Leighton Meester) get an internship at the magazine, only to be disappointed when she finds out that Dan (Penn Badgley) will be working there too. We give them two more episodes before they start hooking up. C’mon, you know it’s going to happen, we’re just putting it out there girlfriend.

So How ‘Bout Those September Issues?

Women’s Wear Daily took a look at the much-hyped September issues for several big titles to determine, after all the anticipation and expectations have settled, who came out on top compared to that issue’s sales last year. And it came up with some (relatively) surprising results…

Harper’s Bazaar Jennifer Aniston cover was the magazine’s best-selling issue in the past seven years, up 22 percent from last year’s September issue. Coming in at number two was Town & Country, which featured designer Tory Burch on its cover.

W‘s September issue, meanwhile, the first under its new editor in chief Stefano Tonchi, took a risky move by featuring relatively unknown, up-and-coming actresses on its cover (otherwise known as “Pulling a Vanity Fair“). The choice didn’t exactly pay off, however: the September cover fell 14 percent from its sales last year.

As for the magazine that, thanks to a certain little documentary, boasts what is perhaps the most famous of all September issues? Vogue‘s issue, with Halle Berry gracing the cover, fell 5.5 percent.

‘Gay Mafia’ At The New York Times?

out_closet_times.jpgWhile we chuckled at editor Aaron Hicklin‘s tongue-in-cheek Out cover — featuring long rumored-to-be-closeted celebrities Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster — the new issue makes an interesting point about the paper of record in its “Power 50“:

“Yes, there really is a queer cabal in the Eastern elite media, and it works on West 43rd Street in New York City.” According to Out, T magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, assistant managing editor Richard Berke, national correspondent Adam Nagourney, advertising columnist Stuart Elliot, style reporter Eric Wilson, theater critic Ben Brantley and restaurant critic Frank Bruni are included in the Times‘ “gay mafia.”

Out says: “This is one group you don’t want to run into in a dark alley.”

“What are we going to do?” Elliot asked WWD. “Beat them with the Sunday Times?”

Bigger question: Has the Times become the Village Voice?