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Stefano Tonchi on His T Replacement and Settling In at W

Stefano Tonchi finished his second week as editor-in-chief of W today. While he's still finalizing his staff and working on his first issue, he said he's finally starting to settle into his new job. "I really loved what I did for T and just the time came for a change," he told us last night at the Brooklyn Museum's annual Brooklyn Ball. "It’s a different culture from the Times. The Times is a newspaper culture. T and the Sunday magazine were always the exception. We were like, something different from what is the mainstream culture of the company." The budgets, however, are similar. "I think at T we had a very nice budget. We were able to work with good photographers, good stylists. I think now, it’s really not so different," he explained. "I think there is this myth, this belief that Condé Nast is all about, like, expense accounts and big budgets and excess," he said. "I think times have changed. I think maybe that was true before McKinsey. But actually, at least it is not now. The reality that I find, it’s very careful and respectful and without, like, many excesses."

So far, he's spent a lot of time studying past issues of the magazine. "Really, my goal is really to take it back to what I think Mr. Fairchild intended when he started it. I’m looking at the old issues of W when it was started by Mr. Fairchild, and really he wanted to celebrate, criticize, enjoy somehow, present to the audience the lifestyle of people he somehow admired or even detested, or I don’t know what," he said. "But that was the kind of relationship."

As for who will replace him at T, he had only good things to say about the rumored front-runner, Vogue fashion news and features director Sally Singer. "I love what Sally does. I think that she’s one of the best candidates. I think that she is a fantastic editor," he said. "I think she’s a great writer. I think she would do a great job. And I think she knows more than what you can find in Vogue. And it would be nice to see her expressing herself 100 percent."

Photo: Patrick McMullan

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