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2011 October 12

The Hollywood Reporter Launches Fashion Blog

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Merle Ginsberg Merle Ginsberg
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(NEW YORK) The Hollywood Reporter has just launched a buzzy new entertainment-meets-fashion blog called Fash Track that you probably shouldn't miss. The mag has corralled in-house writer Merle Ginsberg as lead editor, who will post along with fashion contributing editrix Elizabeth Snead, formerly an editor at USA Today. Expect tons of coverage on red carpet gowns and trend forecasting—but you'll also find insider dish on who's paid who to wear what. Juicy! Your Daily phoned Ginsberg at her office for tout le scoop. MARIA DENARDO

Background, please!
I was hired as a senior lifestyle writer at The Hollywood Reporter a year ago for a completely different job that I'm still doing, which is writing a film column in the magazine called "Rambling Reporter." I'd only been on the job a couple months before we got into awards season, and I was asked to write a couple entertainment-fashion stories, even though my editors were unaware of my fashion writing background at WWDW Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar. They just knew about my work at publications like Rolling Stone, Entertainment Tonight, and People. When these stories came to light and readers were really responding to them, we started brainstorming. That's when our new blog, Fash Track, came together.

How did you meet Elizabeth Snead? 
I've known Elizabeth since '94 when we both were new in New York. I was working in W's LA office, but they had just moved me to New York, and we met through friends.

Who are your competitors?
The whole world! You guys! Look, we have a very certain mandate at The Hollywood Reporter. We won't be going to shows like Style.com and writing about how good or bad a collection is. They do that very well. We'll go to shows and tell you what the stylists are choosing, what celebs they're choosing looks for, and what they're passing on. We're going to be looking at fashion as it overlaps in Hollywood.

How else do you plan on differentiating Fash Talk from every other fashion-y entertainment blog?
Everything is going to be filtered through that entertainment prism. God knows there are thousands of pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a gown on the red carpet. We're not just showing the gown. We're going to tell you that gown was no accident. We're going to tell you why she's wearing it, who paid her to wear it, how much they paid, and what gowns she decided not to wear. It's much more business-oriented and insider---without the gossip.

What's the relationship with entertainment and fashion like and how has it evolved?
It used to be so different than it is now. In '92, I was in an interesting position when I started work with WWD in LA. I had done freelance work and had entertainment writing jobs, so I was very aware of the business and the Hollywood insider scene. I'd always loved fashion, but never wrote about it until then. When I was hired at the magazine, one of my first jobs was on the Oscars' red carpet. Since it was a fashion publication, I asked celebrities what they were wearing. Publicists were screaming at me! 'Why would you ask that? Who cares!' No reporter or publicist at that time had a clue who these designers were or who was wearing what. I remember asking Julia Roberts once about her Richard Tyler gown and people telling me the whole entertainment-fashion-red carpet-thing wasn't going to be big next year, but I had a different idea. A year later, everyone on the carpet was asking what celebs were wearing.

This was before Joan Rivers?
Long before! This was the early nineties, before the red carpet was even televised. I was in the right place at the right time.

Who else would you consider to be game changers in the relationship between fashion and entertainment?
Donatella Versace 
and Giorgio Armani were huge! These designers understood Hollywood and how much PR they were getting before everyone else. Wanda McDaniel was another one. She was working for Armani at the same time and had previously been an entertainment reporter for The Los Angeles Herald. She married Al Ruddy, a big producer who worked on films like The Godfather. She was well-connected—Maria Shriver is her best friend. When Armani hired her, she knew everyone in the film and entertainment. She was a real game changer in fusing the two worlds together. Elizabeth and I hope to do the same thing by building off the relationships we've formed. We're going deep inside where you've never been before!




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