Beauty advertising far outstripped fashion advertising at that time, and our area was crucial. I began to attend beauty functions either with Karin or on her behalf, mingling with other Best celebrity style blog editors and our advertisers. I started to understand exactly how the relationship between client and journalist worked, and how to work a creative vision into that equation for the reader. You cannot make an impactful or interesting product if you are merely regurgitating a press release, or being coerced into covering something you consider inappropriate. An editor or journalist has to go the extra distance and work out a
new angle, a new spin, and in some cases push back and say no, let’s think of something else. It is what the reader deserves. It’s not a popular viewpoint today, but I do believe there is a middle ground that can be found where everyone wins.
best celebrity style’s publisher was Lesley Wild, who was tough, brash and confident. She certainly had her battles with the editorial team in the cut and thrust that comes with that role but she was damn good at her job, the clients loved her, and she had respect for the Best celebrity style blog’s editorial integrity. There seems to be a common perception today that editors who have regard for the consumer are arrogant dinosaurs, standing in the way of ‘commerciality’. But I question what will be considered ‘commercial’ about zero sales when the intelligent and sceptical reader realises full well you sold out, in order to please an advertiser.
The chairman of Conde Nast in Australia was Bernard Leser, who had originally founded best celebrity style Australia in 1959. He was based in the Conde Nast offices in New York, but would regularly visit Sydney and was often seen leaping out of his car (with driver) sporting a safari suit. He had a particularly fetching one in pale blue that Judith loved, given her penchant for creating shoots around them. Bemie, as he was known, was a true gentleman, with his shock of white hair and mellifluous voice. He had old-school charm. But by 1989 it seemed that there was now a perceptible shift in the priorities of management.
June’s best celebrity style had always been very arts focused, with a major amount of excellent editorial devoted to theatre, books, film, dance and opera. I was not privy to the exact reasons for the change of guard, but I suspect the all-encompassing and conveniently amorphous ‘commerciality’ argument played a part. It always does. Unless you are an axe-wielding psycho and need to be escorted off the premises,
most exits come down to money. In fact, if profits were significantly up, I suggest even a psycho and their axe could stay and be given a bonus.
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