>> A number of rumors have swirled around, postulating that Stefano Tonchi asked close friend Anna Dello Russo to take the fashion director position at W — she was even spotted in the magazine's offices recently. But Tonchi denied to Daily Front Row that he had asked Dello Russo to replace current W fashion director Alex White (who remains from the pre-Tonchi era): "I love Anna, but she has a great job at Japanese Vogue that she quite likes, and I don’t have any idea to actually move her to New York. She’s a good friend, but I didn’t really even have a conversation with her about this seriously. She’s a fashion director, but she’s not necessarily the one that’s doing shoots and maybe that’s what I’m looking for. Alex is doing that, and that’s what we need at W."
>> Anna Dello Russo Spotted at W Offices —After rumors hit earlier this week that Anna Dello Russo was in talks with Stefano Tonchi to join the W staff as fashion director, she was spotted at the magazine's offices. Dello Russo is currently based in Milan, and she could have just been paying her close friend Tonchi a visit, or maybe they are speaking about that fashion director role? Or perhaps a contributing position at the mgazine? [DFR]
>> Rumor: Anna Dello Russo to W? —Rumors are running around men's fashion week in Milan that Stefano Tonchi may be recruiting Anna Dello Russo for W's fashion director position. Although Tonchi said last week that he "should be set" regarding layoffs at the magazine, he and Dello Russo are longtime friends; plus, current fashion director Alex White is the sole figure still in place on the top of W's masthead from the pre-Tonchi era. Daily Front Row argues, "Dello Russo essentially hires photographers and stylists for Japanese Vogue...which someone's gotta do at W, right? (Without [former creative director] Dennis Freedman, who had twenty-year-old relationships with A-list photogs like Michael Thompson, Mert & Marcus, and Bruce Weber, there's a real void in that category.)" [DFR]
>> The last of the staffing upheaval came yesterday at W, according to the magazine's editor Stefano Tonchi, when market director Treena Lombardo and accessories and jewelry director Brooke Magnaghi were replaced by T alum Karla Martinez, who will fill both roles as fashion market director. “I think we should be set,” Tonchi told WWD.
It sounds like fashion director Alex White is staying on, and she's rumored to be shooting stories for the magazine's September issue, which will mark the first issue with Tonchi's full redesign.
Changes are already apparent in the magazine's July 2010 issue, however: White worked with Terry Richardson on a 17-shot editorial. Recently, two current and former W staffers confirmed to Jezebel that Richardson had not worked with W in a while; another individual claimed that the most recent instance was in the November 1996 issue. There was a rumor that the ban on Richardson's work was instituted after former W art director Dennis Freedman took offense to a photo by the photographer of a model with her head in an oven.
>> More Changes at W: A New Design Director, John Fairchild's Column Discontinued —Stefano Tonchi has appointed his new design director at W: Joseph Logan, a Vogue Paris and Artforum alum, who starts work next week. Tonchi also apparently decided to discontinue the satirical social column written by 83-year-old John Fairchild, son of WWD's founder and former chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications, under the pseudonym Countess Louise J. Esterhazy. The last column appears in W's June 2010 issue. Fairchild seemed surprised by the decision: "I didn't know it was ending. They never even asked me for a final column . . . I don't know what's happened, really. I know there's a new editor, and he's very talented. I got paid to write it and that's what I'll miss the most." [@womensweardaily, WSJ]
>> The first peeks at Stefano Tonchi's stamp on W will come with the magazine's July issue, and a full redesign is planned for the September issue, but it's the August issue that will provide the first look at a Tonchi-overseen W cover: he's reportedly gone with Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall (costars in Ben Affleck's upcoming crime drama The Town)
It's not unheard of to have a couple cover at W — see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or, more recently, Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston — but the Hamm-Hall duo is shorter on mass appeal than past W cover choices — an interesting decision for a W that's said to have a more general-interest lifestyle directive under Tonchi. Also interesting: Hall was just featured on the cover of T last August, when Tonchi was editor of that magazine.
>> Naomi Campbell may be having issues due to an alleged diamond gift from Liberia's former president Charles Taylor, but she had no problem accepting gifts on Saturday for her 40th birthday — there were reportedly so many, they had to be be ferried back on multiple boat trips to her boyfriend Vladimir Doronin's yacht.
Doronin planned a rumored $1 million black panther-themed bash for the model (after her favorite animal) at the Hotel du Cap near Cannes, which included a 45-minute set by The Black Eyed Peas. P. Diddy and Tyson Beckford gave tributes during dinner, which saw Campbell seated at a revolving center table. Later, guests like John Galliano, Georgina Chapman, Lorenzo Martone, Edward Eninnful, Bethann Hardison, Shala Monroque, Hamish Bowles, Christy Turlington, Eva Herzigova, Grace Jones, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, and Giovanna Battaglia hit the dance floor — where Marc Jacobs supposedly challenged Jennifer Lopez to a walk off.
At midnight, the music stopped so guests could sing "Happy Birthday," and a three tier cake was brought out; Doronin gave a speech, calling Naomi his "wild woman" and his "great love." Speaking of which, the model has been wearing a large emerald ring — sparking rumors — but her reps deny an engagement and Doronin remains married to his estranged wife.
*image: Bauer-Griffin Online
How does one celebrate a new fashion title editorship? With parties on two consecutive evenings, one in Paris and one in Milan, of course! Stefano Tonchi was indeed feted by designers in both fashion capitals during a two-evening event honoring his new position as editor of W magazine. Starting in Milan in the gardens of the Bulgari hotel with Angela Missoni, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, and Giambattista Valli in attendance, the party carried on to the Hotel D'Evreux the following evening where Tonchi lived it up with the Parisians—including Alber Elbaz, Victoire de Castellane, and Alexis Mabille. What, no London love?
>> Jody Quon Jumping Ship —Stefano Tonchi has been making many changes since his recent reign at W began, but perhaps none is as large as his latest hire. Today Tonchi tapped Jody Quon to join W as creative director. She comes from New York Magazine — where she was photo director — preceded by a decade logged at The New York Times Magazine. Speaking to WWD, Tonchi said, "Jody has a background that goes beyond just beauty and fashion — she knows photojournalism, she knows images. . . I see her as somebody who cares as much about the cover of a magazine as the last page of a magazine."
Revolving Door Continues at W with Confirmed Departure of Edward Leida, Possible Recruitment of Lynn Hirschberg
>> Following the departure of longtime W creative director Dennis Freedman comes the exit of Edward Leida, the magazine's design director and a 25-year veteran of Fairchild Publications. Leida will continue to operate his own firm, Edward Leida Design, through which he has worked on projects for Dolce & Gabbana, Celine, and the New York Times.
But it seems that as the magazine loses one editor, it's gaining another. WWD reports that Lynn Hirschberg has left her post as editor-at-large of the New York Times Sunday Magazine and T, presumably to join W in an entertainment director role. W has been without a full-time entertainment editor since last June, and Hirschberg's skills at celebrity wrangling and interviewing would mesh well with Tonchi's vision for the magazine, which includes landing bigger and more timely cover stars.