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2010 March 22

Tonchi Very Much in Vogue

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Stefano Tonchi Stefano Tonchi
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(NEW YORK) The corporately chic ad machine whose fashion pages for T were the envy of every editor who had to sweat it out in mass with class to satisfy the newsstand is a perfect choice for the ailing—some say incurably—W, whose glory days were as far behind as Patrick McCarthy’s Eugenia Sheppard Award (circa 1994).

As for Tonchi, taking the helm at W means entry into style bible realm—in a glass tower that can still afford to attract the most talented people in the game. Did we mention it also houses Vogue? Now, for those other contenders floated by those clearly not-in-the-know:

Joe Zee: Yes, he’s a Fairchild vet who served at W for approximately 9 years as a contributing fashion editor then as fashion director. He then helmed his own magazine, Vitals, which Condé Nast indulged for two years before folding in 2005. Happily, this ever-congenial Zee has hit his stride at Elle, where he has become a full-fledged media personality with both a best-selling magazine and a hit reality show (The City). And Carol loves him!

Carine Roitfeld: Condé Nast and Condé Nast International are two very different beasts, with the latter masterminded by Jonathan Newhouse. It’s well-known that Roitfeld is his protégée, and a potential poaching by S.I. could wreak havoc on French Vogue, which by all accounts, is on a roll. (Balenciaga banishment excepted.) Plus, Carine would never leave Vogue territory.

Kate Betts: During her time at Vogue, Betts was on the insider track to become one of S.I.’s top editors—but her defection to Hearst and short-lived tenure at Harper’s Bazaar likely hurt her chances. After the shuttering of Time Style & Design in 2009, Betts is working on a book about Michelle Obama and appears to enjoy fashion best from the sidelines.

Katie Grand: A Condé newbie, she’s only just hit her stride at Love, which is still in a critical stage in its development. Is she the ultimate fash-insider, seen cavorting all over the Principe bar with designers and stylists? Oui. But is she pounding the pavement with her ad sales team, appearing à la Stefano at an Akris cocktail party the night that news of her big appointment broke? And can she helm something big—other than Beth Ditto? Crois pas.

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