I got the chance to chat with Kevin O'Malley, Elle's new publisher (he's been there for three months now) at the top of the James Hotel this week where staff and friends of the mag had gathered to welcome O'Malley in his new role. He came from Esquire (and looks it--he is Don Draper-y no?) which is quite different from a lady mag, so I thought we'd start there.
Fashionista: What's the transition been like to go from Esquire to Elle? Kevin O'Malley: Well what do you think of my gender transformation? No, I joined Elle with three weeks to go to close the September issue, and that's a jump into the deep end of the pool, but it was great. Everyone keeps saying it must be so different and honestly it's not. Here's why: a big proportion of our business is fashion, retail, luxury and it's a lot of the same players. So I know a lot of the people, I know the industries, I have a feel for them. Probably the biggest difference is internal--there are a lot more women on my staff here than there were at Esquire.
Do you dress differently now? No. Maybe I should say not yet. Maybe there will be some osmosis thing that will occur for me.
Did you watch Elle on The City? Oh sure, just out of curiosity.
Elle's never shied away from doing TV. Will we continue to see Elle on the small screen? I think [fashion TV] is highly entertaining, and Elle sort of pioneered a lot of that fashion reality thing with Project Runway and for brands it's unbelievable. It does what so many brands try to do which is become part of your lifestyle. I think food shows and fashion shows are going to be around for along time.
So will we see Elle on food shows anytime soon? I would say pay attention to that one, there's something cooking there, so to speak.
What are you most excited about in this new job? The thing I'm really excited about is that we've really crossed into the 21st century in terms of how we look at Elle as a brand, not just a magazine. A lot of people talk about that but you have to act that way and Elle acts that way. The future is all about ok, Elle has become known as a multi-channel brand, how will those continue to expand and how will we find innovative ways for our advertisers to use those partnerships with us.