Not only is W magazine leaving the Fairchild umbrella to join Condé Nast's stable of upscale consumer magazines. Long-time editor Patrick McCarthy left his post (while remaining the Chairmanship of the Fairchild Fashion Group until end of the year) and Stefano Tonchi is taking over the reins at W. The Italian-born Mr. Tonchi is the former editor of the NY Times' "T" Style Magazine and, prior to that, the fashion creative director of Esquire, is returning to Condé Nast, where he started his career with stints at L'Uomo Vogue in Milan and Self magazine in New York. The new appointment is supposed to help W appeal to a wider audience by decreasing its high-fashion quotient, and a departure away from its current image as an upscale high-fashion niche glossy for Manhattanites working on Fashion Avenue!
Following the appointment of Stefano Tonchi, W's 20-year creative director veteran Dennis Freedman, announced today that he will be leaving the magazine. He made W’s photography one of the standouts in fashion publishing, often pushing artistic boundaries by attracting such major names as Bruce Weber, Steven Klein, Paolo Roversi, Craig McDean and Juergen Teller to shoot extensive and varied portfolios for the magazine. Under his creative direction, W was regularly nominated for National Magazine Awards, most often for photography. The title received three nods this year for instance.
Besides Mr. Freedman, WWD reports that deputy editor Julie L. Belcove and fashion director Alex White, are thought to be very vulnerable. A new era has definitely begun at W magazine. Meanwhile I am really curious to see how Mr. Tonchi will put his mark on the title.
Lastly, Thomas J. Wallace, Condé Nast's Editorial Director, reportedly told W staffers that the company was planning a new digital version of the magazine whose redesign should start soon with hopes for an early 2011 launch.