Teenage Fan Club, Lure vs. L.U.R.E.

Teenage Fan Club

On a recent afternoon, Annemarie Iverson, the new editor of Seventeen magazine, welcomed a guest to

her big red office high above Seventh Avenue. Ms. Iverson, who is 37 years old,

has shiny blond hair and blue eyes, and she wore a white blouse and custom-made

Levi’s with fringy leather flaps that looked like horse’s hooves. “They make me

happy,” Ms. Iverson said, looking down at her legs. “They’re jeans, you know? “

A veteran of the Liz

Tilberis–era Harper’s Bazaar and YM who worked as a beauty and fitness

editor at Seventeen in the late

1980’s, Ms. Iverson returned to the publication at the end of September. Now

she’s trying to reinvigorate a 58-year-old magazine facing stiff competition

for the hearts and purses of pubescent and pre-pubescent girls.

“It’s a huge magazine and a big institution, and it always was

kind of like in a chastity belt,” Ms. Iverson said. “It’s always been quiet and

subtle, and I guess I just wanted to come in and make it loud. Amp it up. I

want to have the best voice, the most fun voice, the most informed voice, the

most on-target voice, and the most beautiful pictures. I just want to raise the

quality quotient. Every page should be inviting and cool and punchy.”

Was she going to sexify it, too?

“Maybe,” Ms. Iverson said. “But Seventeen ‘s a good girl. She’s good .

Even when she’s naughty, she’s good.”

Ms. Iverson’s good girl has

plenty of flirty challengers: YM , Teen People , Teen Vogue , ELLEgirl and Cosmo Girl! , among others.

“Everyone’s going after this because it’s a big population glut

right now, and mothers want to be like teenagers-there’s, like, a trickle-down

thing,” Ms. Iverson said. “Mothers want to wear what their teenage girls are

wearing. It’s a youth-obsessed nation. Suddenly everyone’s designing for young

people; everyone wants to be young.”

In Ms. Iverson’s office was a copy of the current issue of Seventeen , Ms. Iverson’s first as editor, with the Dawson’s Creek actress Katie Holmes on the cover. On the editor’s

page, there was a flattering picture of Ms. Iverson in what appears to be her

signature pose: left cheek outward, lower back curled, hands on sides,

abdominals out-and thick, pouty lips. She looked like a cast member from Melrose Plac e; she posed the same way

for Mediaweek in October. “My left

side works better,” Ms. Iverson explained.

Elsewhere in the new Seventeen,

on page 38, there was a story called “NYU 101,” about a day in the life of two

pretty coeds (facials at Bliss, shopping at Screaming Mimi’s). On page 44,

Carson Daly got a makeover. On page 48, there was a photograph of a reader who

thinks she looks like the actress Halle Berry.

“The idea with this is girls, everyone wants a role model, and

somehow they feel that their looks aren’t embraced or celebrated unless they

can see themselves in a celebrity,” Ms. Iverson said. “So our thinking with

this is, ‘Look, there’s someone out there famous who looks like you, so you

should feel good about yourself! You have a round face and you’re slightly

overweight-look, there’s Drew Barrymore!’ It seems very superficial or star,

uh, overdrive, but it really helps young women.”

Ms. Iverson thinks she’s in the right job.

“Yeah, there’s something very immature about me,” she said. “I

like this; I like being with young people. What’s cooler than that? We have fun

here: We act really immature, and we play games and have fun, and we have a

really light atmosphere. And we have kids around as much as possible. We invite

them over for Cokes and Diet Cokes and M&Ms …. Someone’s trying to run this

place-I mean, we’re always looking for who’s the parent–and I just refuse.

“I’m having a total blast,” she said. “I love coming to work, I

have great people with me, this is like a dream come true. I’ve never had an

easier job. We have to sell magazines. But the way I get there is by having

fun.

“This is a real girls’ magazine,” Ms. Iverson continued. “You

know, girl power. We’re the girls in control here; we’re in charge. Is it

capital-F feminism? You never use that word anymore. But it’s really about

feeling good about yourself, and yeah, you say, ‘Oh, this is very vain-how to

put on lip gloss or she’s blond.’ But it’s really about”-her voice got soft and

sleepy-” em-pow-er-ment .”

What about making readers smarter?

“That’s everywhere, subliminal-that’s a mission that Seventeen ‘s always had,” she said. “When Enid Haupt edited Seventeen at the end of World War II,

she was like, ‘I want to turn out better citizens.’ I wouldn’t be so flatfooted

to say it that way, but we believe in volunteerism, and we have a fiction

contest. We’re one of the only magazines left that publishes fiction. We have a

new young-artists competition. We’re about going to college and bettering

yourselves.”

On page 80, there was a picture of a peeled banana and this

advice: “So it’s hard, it’s longer than six inches and it looks phallic-a

banana still isn’t a sex toy, girls.”

“You have to have one banana,” Ms. Iverson said. “It’s a little

tongue in cheek-so to speak.”

-George Gurley

Lure vs. L.U.R.E.

New York City now has two hangouts called Lure. The newest Lure

is a restaurant-lounge on East 60th Street off Madison Avenue. The second Lure

is on West 13th Street and Ninth Avenue, and is actually The L.U.R.E.-for Leather, Uniforms, Rubber, Etc.-and it opened in

1994. Here’s a guide:

Hours

Lure: Open for dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight; lunch, 11:30 a.m.

to 3 p.m.; brunch on Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m.

L.U.R.E.: 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Monday to Saturday; 2 p.m. to 4

a.m. on Sunday.

Go there to find

Lure: Gold Coast matrons.

L.U.R.E.: A master.

Motif

Lure: 20,000 Leagues Under

the Sea.

L.U.R.E.: The Wild One.

Signature details

Lure: Glass sculpture.

L.U.R.E.: Steel cage.

Wall art

Lure: Water studies by photographer Roni Horn.

L.U.R.E.: Fetish and erotic-art lithographs, sketches and

paintings of men in leather by artists Leon and Ira Smith, Rex and the Hun.

Dress code

Lure: No official dress code,

but owner Matthew Harriton expects the restaurant to get a “casual chic” group.

“I don’t expect T-shirts and jeans, more like jeans-and-a-blazer type of

people. That’s what we get in the Hamptons.”

L.U.R.E.: Strict dress code on Friday and Saturday nights.

Leather, rubber, uniforms of all kinds. No white sneakers, no cologne and no

business suits.

Clientele

Lure: Real-estate brokers taking their clients to lunch; Madison

Avenue shoppers.

L.U.R.E.: Plumbers, investment bankers who enjoy wearing leather,

rubber or uniforms. Women, occasionally.

Specialty drink

Lure: The Luretini, an aqua concoction with citrus vodka, triple

sec, sour mix, a splash of orange juice, a splash of pineapple juice, fresh

lime juice and a hint of blue curaçao served with a twist.

L.U.R.E.: Rum and coke. Club

source: “People come here to meet each other, they don’t come here to have

fancy-dancy drinks.”

Drink cost

Lure: $8 to $12.

L.U.R.E.: $5.

Theme nights

Lure: None.

L.U.R.E: “Chub Club” for big men on Thursday nights; “Foot

Friends” party on Monday night; a leather party called “Pork” on Wednesday

nights.

Good pick-up line

Lure: “Did you go to Brearley or Nightingale?”

L.U.R.E.: “Thank you, sir-may I have another?”

Late-night behavior

Lure: Swapping phone numbers.

L.U.R.E.: Bootlicking.

Number of times featured in Sex and the City

Lure: Zero.

L.U.R.E.: Repeatedly-Samantha’s apartment in the show is located

directly above the bar.

Music

Lure: Undecided; to date, seems like a Jamiroquai kind of crowd.

L.U.R.E.: Industrial/electronic.

Celebrity Guests

Lure: Salt from Salt ‘n’ Pepa and New York Giants punter Rodney

Williams.

L.U.R.E.: Members of the NYPD and, rumor has it, a Saudi Prince.

Future plans

Lure: Unclear.

L.U.R.E.: Thinking of franchising.

-Deborah Netburn