Is That Condé You’re Wearing? Publisher May License Brands

otrconde nast building pr 2 Is That Condé You’re Wearing? Publisher May License Brands“DO WE REALLY need Vogue handbags? Gourmet kitchen mitts?” sniffed one Condé Nast insider.

And don’t worry! Details AftershaveTM or a GQ tie brought to you by Kiton will not be hitting a retailer near you anytime soon.

But … the days of Condé Nast licensing may not be far behind. There’s currently a push within 4 Times Square to expand the brands of the company’s most iconic magazines, and Condé Nast executives David Carey and Robert Sauerberg, are leading the charge.

This isn’t the first time the idea of licensing has been floated at Condé Nast, but it’s something that Si Newhouse has pooh-poohed in the past. The reasoning was simple: It cheapens the brand.

“Si has never bought into it,” said a Condé source.

“He’s against anything that he feels takes the focus away from the printed magazine brand. That’s why he used to be so against digital,” said another.

But with McKinsey out the door, and with revenue a point of major concern-or, well, every concern-for Condé Nast, some form of licensing may be inevitable.

What could we possibly see? We called up a few Condé Nast people and asked them to speculate: perhaps something like Gilt Groupe, the online luxury brand discounter, but developed by Condé Nast-say, an online sample sale brought to you by Lucky, from which Condé Nast takes a cut. Or maybe rewrite freelancers’ contracts so that if an article is optioned for film, Condé Nast will see some of that money. All sorts of e-commerce deals, or Condé-endorsed conferences that charge awfully big fees right up front.

These are ideas that won’t completely creep out the publishing industry, but they probably aren’t anything that Si Newhouse would have considered a few years ago.

Welcome to 2010, when everything is on the table.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair