A Letter from the Editor, Stefano Tonchi

August 2010


Let me introduce myself: I am W’s new Editor

in Chief. And beginning with the September issue—redesigned and reimagined—we will learn from one another what a magazine is, and what it can be, in our always changing new world.

To start, let me say that I am a magazine enthusiast, a junkie who from my earliest school days has been obsessed with flipping though the pages of magazines, first absorbed in their images and stories, later assigning and editing my own. I really believe that no matter whether a magazine is delivered to your doorstep or to your computer, printed on glossy stock or on cheap tabloid paper, appearing on your iPad or your cell-phone screen, it is still and foremost the work of an editorial team for a discerning audience, a beautiful and meaningful— we hope—package of ideas, words and images that a group of experts prepares for its readers.

While technology efficiently delivers news stories to our desktops, laptops and mobile devices, magazines are all about context—how ideas and images are presented in relation to one another and within a larger point of view. Magazines are about trust and partnership: We, the editors, will strive always to keep you engaged; you, the readers, are free to engage with us or to reject us.

But enough theory: Let me tell you about this transitional August issue of W.

There is a story this month that I particularly like because it combines a great read with intriguing photographs. The very talented Lauren Collins, a staff writer at The New Yorker, profiles a woman at the top of her game: Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini. In her spirited and often funny narrative, Collins captures the strengths and doubts of many successful women. She paints, with brave strokes, Giannini’s rise to power in a man’s world, professionally and personally, while at the same time delighting in the pleasures and ironies of celebrity and stardom. Artist and photographer Paolo Roversi renders his own portrait of Giannini—naked beneath her mannish suit—and brings Gucci’s fall collection out into the streets of Rome, with mirrors, monuments and more than a touch of Fellini.

From the Eternal City we travel to the City of Angels, where Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall act out our cover story, shot in downtown L.A. The Mad Men star doffs Don Draper’s perfect suit and tie to get intimate with Hall, the Vicky of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Having just worked on The Town, a drama directed by and starring Ben Affleck—in theaters in September—the pair complain about the dearth of movies aimed at adults, and address rumors of Hall’s romance with a certain director.

These days Los Angeles wants to be more than a movie set, and the city is making a serious bid to become a world capital of contemporary art. Many well-known New York art figures have decamped for L.A., most recently art impresario Jeffrey

Deitch, now at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A crop of East Coast galleries—L&M Arts and Matthew Marks among them—are establishing West Coast outposts. And a cluster of new galleries has sprung up in Culver City. “It’s not just a coincidence. S—’s on fire,” declares one longtime gallerist. To document the change, photographer Jason Schmidt takes us for a ride along the Angeleno avenues to discover the people and places behind this exploding art scene.

August is time for making decisions before fall starts, and our fashion team has selected the best coats, the best dresses and the best bags of the season, creating the perfect shopping wish list.

Feminine and sexy are back (with a twist) in Alasdair McLellan’s “Sweet & Vicious,” in which Fifties glamour meets vixenish schoolgirl charm, and bright geometric accessories bring a bolt of energy and joy to the magazine’s pages—the perfect cocktail to start the new season.

Stay with us—and expect more.

-Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief