Stefano Tonchi confessed that he never really read W before his appointment to editor-in-chief of the title earlier this year. At a lunch today at Condé Nast's headquarters at 4 Times Square held to unveil Tonchi's W makeover launching with the September issue, the editor said that he always flipped through the magazine, which he repeatedly called "image-driven," but never spent time with the articles. That's because there was never much to read in W, with much of the editorial content consisting of newsy bits derived from the magazine's parent publication WWD. But the pictures were always fantastic, and Tonchi aims to maintain that, while adding a lot more words — hopefully of substance — to make W a well-rounded magazine in itself.
The September articles include ones we actually want to read, such as the piece on women getting plastic surgery too soon in life that compares Lindsay Lohan's lips to "soggy hamburger buns"; an in-depth profile of Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci; and Caroline Weber's first-person essay that notes that the curvy movement happening in fashion right now is really just an embrace of big breasts, not necessarily fat on other parts of the figure. So W finally feels like a magazine you want to take home and read, rather than something that will occupy too much real estate in your trash can moments after a quick flip-through.
Tonchi noted W's unique position in the fashion-magazine marketplace. It must compete with other fashion titles, including sister publications at Condé Nast like Vogue, but isn't a newsstand-driven publication like its competitors. The magazine is physically too big to fit well on newsstands, and therefore measures success in terms of subscribers. (The magazine's size is not something Tonchi wanted to tamper with, in the interest of maintaining W's stunning visuals.) But not feeling pressured to engage in the cutthroat newsstand-sale game allows Tonchi more freedom with his covers: He doesn't need an instantly recognizable face to move issues and can give that slot to relative unknowns.
The September issue has three different covers and eight cover stars, young actresses Yaya DaCosta, Jennifer Lawrence, Greta Gerwig, Kat Dennings, Jessica Chastain, Emma Roberts, Zoë Kravitz, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The cover-story author, Lynn Hirschberg, W's new editor-at-large after following Tonchi over from the Times, reiterated Tonchi's view that magazine covers look too similar these days, adding that they want theirs to "feel alive in a different way." And what better way than with two hot, young girls almost kissing each other?
Creative director Jody Quon, formerly photo director of New York, said they wanted to have one image of the girls in a kiss situation, and knew it would work best with the pair rather than the groups of three. Tonchi was pleased to point out that while this shot is provocative, none of the ladies are dressed provocatively. And indeed, you'll find nary a puckered breast on the cover or the spread of the ladies inside the magazine.
The website relaunches next month and will begin hosting the screen-test videos Hirschberg used to do for the Times. Same content, different channel, as Tonchi described it. He hopes to turn W's site into fashion's YouTube — a (hopefully) groundbreaking online archive of fashion films, from things W produces itself to Dior's latest commercial with Marion Cotillard. He's not interested in a news-driven website, and made it sound like the magazine will remain light on web staffing for a little while.
So while the magazine feels plenty new, and plenty made-over, if not drastically, it's not revolutionary. It feels like a girlier version of Vanity Fair, which is not a bad thing. It's beautiful, it's glossy, it's fun to read and gaze at, but it's still full of super-skinny, super-tall models, and gobs of clothes, shoes, bags, and vacations that most people can't afford but land in fashion magazines everywhere. Tonchi and his team may have changed a magazine, but the system remains the same.
Most Viewed Stories
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
Ask Polly: Should I Try to Help My Alcoholic Friend?
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
Outrageous Party Photos From Andy Warhol’s Factory Days
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Chelsea Clinton Says She Didn’t Initially Know Her Mom Had Pneumonia Because She Was Trying to Power Through It
YogaToes Cured My Lifelong Fear of Bunions
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutYour Zits Are Actually Keeping You Young
New research suggest they are nature’s anti-ager.Rihanna’s Paris Fashion Week Show Involved a Lot More Purple Satin Than Anyone Was Expecting
Pastels were a major theme.Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
It’s a beautiful country!College Student Printed Out Her Roommate’s Subtweets and Posted Them in the Dorm in Today’s Best College Drama
She printed out every subtweet and posted them on a bulletin board.The Y Is Back in YSL, But Not Much Else Is Yet
Anthony Vaccarello’s debut collection falls back on label classics. Plus: Young Parisian designers experiment.Prince Married to Commoner Still Too Good to Tweet
Their 'first tweet' was not impressive.Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
It was inevitable.What’s Going to Happen to Angelina’s Jewelry From Brad?
She has quite a few personal pieces from Brad Pitt that might wind up on the auction block.Models at Margiela Looked Like Rainbow Brite Alien Angels
Cosplay for characters that haven’t been invented yet.Senate Approves Long-Delayed Zika-Funding Bill
The $1.1 billion measure is expected to pass the House later today.
“Campaign stress?”Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau Hold International Wokeness Summit
Rude of them to not invite the American delegate, Matt McGorry.Whoopi Goldberg on Vetements and Burning Bridges
The comedian is trading The View for a higher profile in the fashion world.This Gentle Mask Kills Zits Overnight
And it doesn’t stink.What Really Happens Backstage at the Shows
Runway beauty used to be pretty low-key. Now it’s one of the main events.Gary Johnson Calls in Supernatural Powers for Election Help
Melissa Joan Hart is the new Connecticut chair for the Gary Johnson campaign.Kim Kardashian Assaulted by the Same Guy Who Grabbed Gigi Hadid
He ran up and kissed her ass.The FDA Is Finally Going to Update the Term ‘Healthy’
Currently, foods that are low in fat but high in sugar can use it, which, no.Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
Kellyanne Conway made a Freudian slip.Meet the Designer Who Launched a Hit Label From His Apartment
Talking to Atlein designer Antonin Tron about his unconventional debut.