BUSINESS OF FASHION: LAYOFFS AT LUCKY MAY NOT BE THE WORST TO COME
“Lucky” might not be the first word on the lips of employees at Lucky magazine this week. More than a dozen employees of an already lean staff were laid off last Thursday at Lucky Group, the current home of Lucky following Condé Nast‘s sale of the title to Beachmint last August.
Whereas many publishing staff cuts occur at the bottom of the editorial food chain, Lucky‘s latest round affected high and low alike; founding beauty director Jane Godfrey was made editor-at-large, and according to Racked, executive fashion director Alexis Bryan Morgan has left the magazine for another position.
The cuts come after a series of changes to the Lucky masthead over the past couple of years, as well as a troubling financial climate at the fashion and lifestyle publication, launched in 2000. Publisher Marcy Bloom was fired in 2013 and replaced by Gillian Gorman Round, followed soon after by an annual issue reduction from 12 to 10. Editor-in-chief Brandon Holley replaced Kim France, who was fired in 2010, then challenged Condé’s editorial arbiter and all-powerful adviser Ann Wintour, leading to the appointment of current EIC and Lucky darling Eva Chen.
Sources also mention that Lucky Group waited until the February 1 expiration of Condé Nast’s employee benefits, after the Beachmint sale, so that the group wouldn’t have to pay severance to laid off staff. This tactic throws the financial stability of the publication into question.
“Unfortunately, there’s no law that mandates giving severance packages that meet the amount of time employees put into a company unless it’s in writing, but it’s in bad taste,” said New York fashion lawyer Daniel Bellizio to Racked. “There’s something to be said about doing the right thing to the people who have helped with a company’s longevity and profitability, especially at the top of the food chain.”
Survivors still on payroll report that the atmosphere at Lucky is “strained.”