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Interview: Linda Wells on the Evolution of Beauty Journalism
That occurred quite a bit at Allure too. We misplaced promoting. And [then Condé Nast chairman] Si Newhouse, who was such a immense supporter by way of the all beginning and institution of Allure, was simply affection, “You array those advertisers that you’re independent and you’re making these decisions.” And the advertisers all the time got here advocate.
Allure: Who introduced you in to edit Allure?
Wells: Alex Liberman [then Condé Nast editorial director] wished to carry lunch at La Grenouille, which was affection, “Oh, okay. Why don’t we just hold out an ad in the Times?” I used to be affection, “Maybe we should just hold lunch at an role somewhere?” When I acquired to Alex’s function, Si [Newhouse] was there too. They simply mentioned one thing so unostentatious: “We want to initiate a beauty magazine. Will you breathe the editor?” I mentioned, “I hold to arbitrator about it,” as a result of I simply could not aircraft think about. My solely request of them was that, if it’s going to breathe journalistic, we maintain to breathe freed from promoting constraints. We maintain to breathe capable of actually query what the advertisers are doing and maxim. And they mentioned completely exquisite.
I wished to make use of magnificence as a route of inspecting our tradition, to arbitrator about magnificence as greater than one thing shallow, to arbitrator concerning the emotional facet of magnificence. I wished there to breathe a kindly of literary property too. So we acquired these unbelievable writers. It was such a kindly of child’s fantasy. I denote, too we had a pleasant batch of cash to expend on these items. It was the ’90s. We might purchase virtually anyone to jot down for us. I’d learn one thing I appreciated and we’d convene the author. We had Edna O’Brien, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mary Karr, Dorothy Allison, Edwidge Danticat, Arthur Miller. candid McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes — I learn it in galley, and I used to be affection, “We’ve got to acquire him to write for us.” We went out for a three-hour lunch, gave him a all bunch of merchandise for his spouse, and that was it.
Mary Turner, an editor at Allure, and I wished John Updike to jot down for the journal, and we’d expedition him letters, precise letters within the mail, with story concepts. He all the time wrote us advocate with a typed level to, on these pre-stamped playing cards that you simply’d purchase on the publish function, maxim in mannerly however barely humiliating methods, no. Mary and I might cringe for a signification and strike on. One day, I learn someplace that he had psoriasis and handled it by spending hours within the solar. So Mary wrote to him and requested if he’d write a chunk about it. Weeks later, a manila envelope arrived with a manuscript. We had no covenant, we hadn’t given him a price. It simply confirmed up on the function affection a gift. We referred to as the piece “The Prodigal Sun.”
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