We know that ladymag readership is down, seriously badly down, for the first six months of 2012. But now we know who the culprits are: the celebrities whose well-lit, smiling, Photoshop-enhanced faces have failed to open wallets in supermarket checkout aisles all across the land. Poorly selling issues of note include Vogue's Olympics-themed June edition with Lochte, Serena Williams, and Hope Solo. It was the magazine's weakest of the year so far, moving just 202,000 newsstand copies — which might have been just Ryan Lochte's mom buying the same issue over and over again. That total is 33% below its six-month average.
If athletes do badly on the covers of fashion magazines, Kardashians might do even worse: Kim Kardashian was a loser for Allure in March (which sold 7% below average) and all three sisters failed to make an impression on the cover of Glamour in January (which sold 11% below average).
Who did well? Adele, for one, handily beat Vogue's sales average. So did Kate Moss for both W and Harper's Bazaar. And Glamour's topless Lauren Conrad cover sold a whopping 18% above the title's average. [WWD]
Gwen Stefani is on the cover of September's Harper's Bazaar. At 375 pages, the issue is the magazine's biggest ever. Stefani says she started wearing red lipstick in high school in the '80s: "I remember sitting in my ghetto, beat-up Honda Prelude and putting on that lipstick in the rearview mirror and being like, 'Uh-huh, I like that. That's the shit right there.' I never stopped after that." [HB]
British designer Louise Grey is launching a capsule collection for Topshop on August 23. "The dresses and tops are all totally covered in sequins and I made them to go dancing in," says Grey. [Telegraph]
Cute Circuit — that's the company that made Katy Perry's light-up 2010 Met Ball dress, you will recall — wants to bring to market a t-shirt with an embedded LED screen. So that you can display, um, your favorite Tweets. Or whatever other shit you've downloaded from the Internet. Light-up and interactive clothing is not new, but it is getting more sophisticated. Would you wear this? [Atlantic]
André J — the man, the beard, the legend — Tweeted a photo of himself and Carine Roitfeld on a rooftop. Hopefully this means he and Roitfeld are working together on something related to the former Vogue Paris editor's forthcoming print magazine, CR Fashion Book. Roitfeld famously had Andre J and Carolyn Murphy shot by Bruce Weber for the cover of Vogue Paris in 2005. [@AndreJWorldWide]
Meanwhile, Roitfeld confirmed that the magazine's Web site will be hosted on Tumblr. [Fashionista]
Here is Lana Del Ray, a gold bar, and a kitty cat in the pages of Vogue Italia. [VI]
Female French politicians are fed up with commentary on their clothing, makeup, and shoes — and even cat-calling from colleagues:
Wearing a blue-and-white flowered dress by U.K. mail-order clothing company Boden (a shirt dress named Riviera priced on the French version of the Web site at 119 euros, or $146.57 at current exchange rates, currently discounted at 59.50 euros, or $73.29 dollars), Cécile Duflot, minister of territorial equality and housing, had to endure whistles from male deputies last month as she walked down steps to stand in front of the National Assembly. [...] The high heels worn by Yamina Benguigui, a politician, and the critical length of the dress worn by [minister for small- and medium-sized enterprises, innovation and the digital economy, Fleur] Pellerin (which went above her knees when she walked the steps of the Elysée Palace in late June), also created a buzz. In July, one top journalist asked Pellerin if she got the job because she is a beautiful woman from a minority background. The question drew ire on Twitter.
"It is very complicated to be a woman in politics. If you dress up, everyone makes a comment. If you don't, it is even worse," lamented Amor Ouni, whose responsibilities include advising [first lady Valérie] Trierweiler on her wardrobe. "‘Normal chic' is what I try to achieve in terms of looks for her."
Meanwhile, the purse carried by North Korean first ladyRi Sol-Ju — wife of notorious dictator Kim Jong-Un — has drawn criticism for somewhat less sexist reasons: because she's been carrying a Miss Dior handbag that costs thousands of dollars even as North Koreans are facing famine and food shortages due to the inefficiencies of their centrally planned economy. The bag is a symbol of the privileges and wealth enjoyed by the small cadre of party officials who run the country. [Telegraph]
Lady Gaga really wants to unveil her September Vogue cover. "Don't worry I've been txting Wintour all morning trying to get that cover queens," she Tweeted. "Next im sending bagels to VOGUE (complex carbohydrate war)." [@LadyGaga]
LOVE magazine is launching an iPad app with artist Yayoi Kusama. Users can reportedly use the app to play with polka dots, like the ones that populate Kusama's work. [WWD]
Bar Refaeli says she'd try JDate "maybe if I'm still single when I'm 40." [P6]
Talbots, which has been struggling, now has a new C.E.O., C.O.O., and company president. [WWD]
With an annual income of $72 million, Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady came second in Forbes' list of the top-earning celebrity couples of the year. They were beaten — though only by $6 million — by Beyoncé and Jay-Z. [Forbes]
Macy's says its second quarter saw healthy growth. Net income rose to $279 million from $241 million during the same period one year ago. Same-store sales were up 3%, to a whopping $6.12 billion. [WWD]
Tod's SpA net income rose year-on-year by 13.7%, to $96.5 million, during the first six months of 2012. Sales were strongest at Tod's (which was up 19.4%) but they dropped at Hogan (down 12%) and Fay (down 8.1%). [WWD]
Profits during the quarter just ended at Ralph Lauren were up by 5.1%, to $193.4 million. [WWD]