A Moment for Mags
This was a big week in magazines. First, Graydon Carter stepped down after 25 years as editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair. The same day, Nylon announced it was closing its print edition. Yesterday, it broke that Robbie Myers is leaving Elle after 17 years at its helm -- followed by today's news that Nina Garcia would take her place. It all reminds me of one of my mom's favorite expressions, "Nothing changes, nothing changes, nothing changes... and then everything changes."
Except, things have been changing in magazines for years, and even the most casual observer can see it. Last night, after the Robbie Myers bombshell, my bff from the glossy days and I were texting our predictions and gossip back and forth. She had a tip from someone still on the inside that mags as we know them will be dead in five years -- but I'm not so sure.
It's true that more great titles will probably shutter, and probably a few more will reduce frequency. Editorial staffs will continue to shrink, as will page counts. But the optimist in me believes that there will always be a place for gorgeous, arresting print editorial -- the kind that the movie Funny Face channeled in its homage to Richard Avedon and Diana Vreeland, and that Alexey Brodovitch had in mind when he commanded, "Astonish me!"
Having had the privilege of working with Glenda Bailey, an editor who takes her role as torch-bearer for these legends very, very seriously, I can also say the vision and talent is as powerful as ever. And while I bear no illusions that the publishing PTB give a damn about producing art, it gives me some hope that Hearst put its faith in Nina Garcia -- a seasoned industry veteran who has successfully swanned the waters of both digital and print -- and I look forward to seeing what she does with Elle.