Stefano Tonchi opened up Monday to WWD reporter Nick Axelrod about what he’s been up to at W. Tonchi, who took over the magazine in April, has slowly but surely been making a series of changes to the struggling book. And while some of them have been small, none of them have been subtle.
In his Q&A with Axelrod, Tonchi explains that the biggest changes will be on full display in the September issue. It features a new logo, new typefaces on the cover, and a new tagline that should be familiar to anyone who’s taken an introductory journalism course: “It’s not just women’s fashion, but the world of style and, more exactly, our five Ws: the who, the what, the where, the when and the why in the world of style,” Tonchi said.
Tonchi has also decided to put the names of writers on the cover, a la Vanity Fair. “The content — the writers — are going to have a strong place in the magazine,” he said.
The cover itself is a new trick for W — it’s a triple gatefold (you’ll be able to fold out two panels from behind the main cover) featuring eight up-and-coming actresses. The main title “Great Expectations” serves two purposes:
And with the main headline, “Great Expectations,” I wanted to have some self-irony, because there are so many expectations about what this W will be, so it refers to these eight great new girls, but also to the pressure that we feel to satisfy the expectations that people have for the magazine.
While the entire makeover won’t be complete for “six or eight months,” one change is already more or less permanent — W is no longer a strict fashion magazine. Tonchi has widened the scope of what the magazine covers, making it more accessible for readers who aren’t hard-core fashion people.
WWD: Do you feel like the magazine is more general interest?
S.T.: It’s more about fashion in the context of contemporary culture, and that’s really the definition that I like to use. At the end, everything we look at is in the key of style, and that’s why I defined the content of the magazine as the who, the what, the where, the when, the why in the world of style.
To that end, there’s a story about Riccardo Tisci‘s gender-bending at Givenchy and another about the artist Louise Bourgeois, who died in May.
While we’re sad to lose the old W, we’ve come to expect excellence from Tonchi and we have no doubt that he will deliver it.