Two years ago, Si Newhouse, the publisher of Vogue and Glamour tapped a female Wall Street Journal editor for an intriguing new job — start a new business magazine! This was a risky proposition, namely because while the readers of business magazines (ourselves notwithstanding, natch) generally have boatloads of cash, they're either way too smart to fall victim to advertisements for "mineral" foundation and "anti-aging" serum or they're the people trying to sell these things in the first place. But Mr. Newhouse and his beloved Conde Nast bucked the conventional wisdom, pouring a nine-figure investment into Conde Nast Portfolio, which hits newsstands today amid something of a media firestorm, thanks in part to the fact that Portfolio Editor In Chief Joanne Lipman has said she "relates" to Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, only, you know, thinner.
Portfolio, Issue One has some enjoyable stuff, including a somewhat drab fashion industry blog that reminds us why we here at Jezebel try to distract you from our own dubious assertions with pretty pictures.
On April 11, for instance, "Fashion Inc." blogger Laurie Goldstein Crowe (rendered in an illustration and presumably not as thin as Lipman) writes:
Umbra Fist, a columnist writing for Grist, an environmental news and advice site, recommends that we should be "buying fewer clothes." Well, OK for the environment, but what about the economy?
This got me thinking, perhaps the best way for luxury brands to counter the rise of H&M, Zara, and the new COS (which I adore), is to communicate to consumers that buying fewer, better things is the best way to save the planet. Luxury is also sweat-shop free.
Which sounds good and all, but if the "luxury brands" of which she speaks are really worried about competing with H&M and Zara, they are probably not "sweat-shop free", since anything LVMH makes that's priced accessibly to a Zara shopper is made in China. And if you're genuinely worried about the long-term health of the economy, you've probably found better places to invest your wad than the Birkin bag waiting list. But hey, no one's tapped us to sell ad pages against that message!
P.S. Joanne: Glamour's Cindi Leive wants your diet Dos and Don'ts!