Big Changes at T
Deborah Needleman’s first issue of T: The New York Times Style magazine won’t be out until February, but she’s slowly remaking the masthead so that come next year, it will be unrecognizable from Sally Singer’s. Her first hires were all poached from her old stomping grounds at The Wall Street Journal — Whitney Vargas was installed as deputy editor, Patrick Li as creative director and Nadia Vellam as photo director. But her newest hire is well-known stylist Joe McKenna, a veteran of W and Vogue, who’s well poised to give Needleman the credibility and access she lacks into the fashion world.
McKenna is T’s new fashion director at large, and will work on several spreads a year. Though he lives in London, Needleman said he’ll be heavily involved in shaping the magazine’s fashion stories. The rest of Needleman’s team consists of features director Maura Egan, who is joining from W and worked at T under Stefano Tonchi, and entertainment director Lauren Tabach-Bank, who was at Interview. With her new hires, the team that Singer had organized has mostly been displaced — entertainment director Jacob Brown and photo director Andrew Gold are both gone; David Sebbah, a longtime Times veteran, is also out, and Jeffries Blackerby, Singer’s deputy editor, is staying on although in a different role.
Organic Cotton Issues
While the interest in organic cotton seems to be increasing, it is suffering some growing pains. The just-released “2011 Organic Cotton Market Report,” published by Textile Exchange, shows that even though 81 percent of brands and retailers responding to its market survey indicated they plan to expand their use of organic cotton, production was down 37 percent in 2011. The top five organic cotton users in 2011 were H&M, C&A, Nike, Inditex (Zara) and Anvil Knitwear.
The decline came mostly in India, the origin of almost 70 percent of organic cotton. Four primary reasons underpin the fall: problems in cotton seed supply, economic uncertainty, stringent requirements in India and shifts by some companies away from organic or fair-trade initiatives. The disparity in sales and production also indicates usage of excess inventory following weak demand when the recession hit in 2010. However, the report said, “Based on the growth rates, 2011 retail sales clock in at an estimated $6.8 billion, overshooting our estimate in last year’s report of $6.2 billion. If growth continues at the same rate, the market will reach $8.9 billion in 2012.”
Post 27 to Shutter
After five glorious years, one of the most intriguing and influential homewares stores ever, Post 27 will be closing its brick and mortar on Grand Avenue doors for good. The store has started its final sale which will run until November 21st.
But it’s not all bad news! The brand will live on under the owner’s name Angela Finney-Hoffman. She will continue to service through an online, e-commerce web shop, as well as offering custom furniture design, commercial and residential interior design, and event design. And as one last hoorah, there is a party on November 15th to wish her a fond farewell.
– Taneisha Jordan
Sources: WWD; post27.com