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Fashion Statements

Stop the presses! Two dailies get ready to duke it out during Fashion Week.

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The biggest drama this season isn’t on the runway—it’s the face-off between Fashion Wire Daily founders Joe Dolce and Brandusa Niro over their competing fashion rags. Niro, who worked on the US Daily Fashion Week supplement last season, has jumped ship to work full-time on a similar paper for 7th on Sixth/IMG called (originally enough) The Daily. Meanwhile, Dolce—who worked with Niro on US Daily—is editing Bonnie Fuller’s supplement alone this season.

Niro, who’s snapped up a few US staff members, including ex–managing editor Marc Einsele, says her paper will focus more on fashion talent than on celebrities, adding that it will feature a humor page, “Veni Verdi Vici,” by the Richard Simmons of fashion, Robert Verdi. “For us, the editors are celebrities. This is an insider’s product, not for the mass consumer”—a dig at mass-market miracle US.

One edge that The Daily—which will come out six times as opposed to US’s three—definitely has is that it will be distributed inside the tents while US has to give copies away outside. Still, Dolce isn’t walking away from this catfight. “Because this isn’t owned by the CFDA, we can step on a few very well-shod toes,” he snaps. “They have to be the house organ of 7th on Sixth. We don’t.”

BAZAAR BEHAVIOR: The parlor game among fashionistas at the moment is guessing whose head will replace Glenda Bailey’s at Harper’s Bazaar (not unlike the way Kate Winslet’s is said to have been affixed to someone else’s body on the January cover). Magazine editors are awaiting circulation figures for the second half of 2002, but in terms of ads, Bazaar was down 12.5 percent last year, according to the Media Industry Newsletter, and ads for what should be the key March issue are down 9 percent, compared to increases at rivals Vogue (13 percent), W (5 percent), Elle (six percent), and In Style (24 percent). Meanwhile, Bailey has mysteriously removed her own photo from the editor’s-letter page (what can this mean?).

PRêT-À-SPORTER: Forget who’s sitting in the front row, there’s a new scoring system to the fashion-world hierarchy—who gets to show off the season’s hottest accessories now that the spring shipments are in. Prada’s silver-wedge shoe and chrome-handlebar bags have arrived, but only the tifs (très importantes fashionistas) will get to flash theirs first.


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