Welcome to the media-commerce not-industrial complex: today's WWD reports that Wal-Mart's glossy magalog, BeautyScoop, was created for the mass retailer by Condé Nast, the luxury publisher which houses Vogue, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, W, Glamour, Lucky, et cetera et cetera ad nauseum.
Even though the magazine company does use the shopping publication to promote women's titles like Allure, Glamour, Lucky, and Self, not only is the name "Condé Nast" absent from the pages of BeautyScoop, but both Conde and collaborator Wal-Mart refused to make an official comment about the partnership despite having several days to do so. Yes, this was a secret fashion collaboration, which is the best thing I didn't know existed. It just fills me with so much joy.
Since Condé-Mart and Wal Nast were both acting super shady (it's like they're shame dating, I love love love it!) about their newly-forged bond, WWD relied on anonymous sources and actual investigative reporting to get the story, which made for a gripping read (that is, as "gripping" as business news can be). I'd say this was the Watergate of fashion, but WWD is itself owned by Condé, so all the reporter really needed to do to get this story was loiter outside of work with all the smokers, not like, penetrate the FBI.
Honestly, if they weren't being so secretive about their relationship, there'd be no reason to make fun of this partnership. BeautyScoop was a major coup for Conde, earning the magazine company extra much-needed ad dollars and a broad audience. The catalogue features standalone content that was created by a separate editorial staff, so it doesn't compromise the publisher's (facade of?) integrity. Wal-Mart, for its part, gets Conde's sweet expertise and a beauty shopper which borrows the best of Nineties teen girl mags.
Images via WWD