“I’m a media guy, not a fashion guy,” said Peter Kaplan, the new editorial director of Fairchild Fashion Group. “What I want to be thinking about is how to take these brands and get ahead of the culture in media terms.”
Though Mr. Kaplan emphasized again and again that he is not taking over any sort of daily duties at WWD, and that he has the greatest respect for the staff and editor Ed Nardoza, the move from Traveler to the Fairchild offices on Third Avenue does mean that Mr. Kaplan gets back to what he loves: working with a paper.
“It’s the other newspaper in town that’s a five day a week daily paper,” said Mr. Kaplan. “They’ve got a great staff and an excellent editor. It’s a thrill for me.”
“It hugely appealed to me for two reasons: One of them is all the stuff I was talking about at the end of the Observer. A lot of the Fairchild publications seem ready-made to point forward. They are these incredible media propositions. And they have the same sort of nimbleness that we had at the paper. They have a similar sized staff and there’s not a massive bureaucracy. You can take the content and repackage it and refocus it and think it through for a new generation of readers.”
Which leads us to his second point!
“There’s a new generation of readers coming up and they’ll be reading Women’s Wear and these other publications, and they want a first-rate web site, and they’re gonna want something for the iPad. They want apps! The fashion people spend their lives thinking about how to get ahead of the culture”
“[The publications] should look beautiful and, in print terms, they do, but electronically they should be gorgeous,” he continued.
Mr. Kaplan said that he’s been a Women’s Wear Daily reader since he was a boy.
“Red Smith used to have a column there,” he said, referring to the legendary sports columnist. “That’s why I started reading Women’s Wear. It was before he went to The Times, and after, I think, the Herald Tribune.”
He complimented the staff once more and said, “I’ve loved it since I was a little boy.”
He starts on August 2nd.