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  THE DAILY MINI  
 

Circulation: 25,000
Date of Birth: April 2006
Frequency: Bimonthly
Price: $2.99
Natural Habitat: Tucked in the pocketbook de rigueur of a fashion publicist being chauffeured from her cushy Fifth Avenue office to a liquid lunch at Bergdorf Goodman

By Nola Weinstein

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The front row at Fashion Week is the spot most coveted by editors, socialites, and celebrities. Others are satisfied with a standing-room spot, grateful just to be in the room. For the rest of us, newspaper reviews and television coverage are the closest we get to the bright catwalk and popping flashbulbs.

But the Daily Mini takes us—insiders and outsiders—through the velvet rope and one step closer to the catwalk and beyond, into a world of glitz and glamour that is simultaneously enormous and esoteric, exciting and stifling. The magazine reads like a high school yearbook from an elite private school. For me, reading it is a guilty pleasure, a mindless voyeuristic entrée into the lives of today’s Heathers.

Whereas most magazines attempt to keep up with the internet age by making a transition to online publishing and developing their own websites, the writers and editors behind the Daily Mini did it backwards. Fashionweekdaily.com, a three-year-old website dedicated to fashion buzz, took its successful online concept and translated it into a physical magazine. The Daily Mini is actually a bimonthly published by IMG, a sports, entertainment, and media company that is the global leader in the management and production of Fashion Weeks and other designer fashion events.

The magazine looks like a glorified collage of party pictures and clip art. Original content is limited to superficial questions answered by industry movers and shakers. The Daily Mini launches a four-page spread on avoiding holiday weight gain with the question, “How do you indulge . . . and de-bulge!” The answers will have you ridden with guilt in no time. “The only way to stay thin is to have some sort of functioning eating disorder,” said Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York. But designer Betsey Johnson salvages my sanity with her advice: “I triple my eating and drinking. Be tired and fat through January. Who the f**k cares? Just wear a lot of sweaters!”

Aside from concealing winter weight, the Mini attempts to answer the question of what to wear. Reconciling the appropriate with the stylish, theDecember issue features editors, creative directors, and publicists in their ideal holiday party attire. Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief of Jane, glistens in a Grecian Prada dress, Tiffany necklace, and Christian Louboutin shoes. Her outfit would easily retail between $2,000 and $5,000, though Holley probably borrowed it from her magazine’s fashion closet.

Her portrait is also among the few pages of original photography to be found in the publication. Most of the Mini’s art comes from stock images and photo agencies the magazine contracts with. Recent prom nights include the Fashion Group International Night of Stars and the Whitney Museum’s Party for Picasso. Pretty young things are endlessly scattered through the pages like paper dolls in designer duds.

The strength of these spreads lies in the “For the Record” boxes, which look like ripped Post-it notes but present a variety of facts and statistics. Regarding the Picasso party, the Mini notes that “550 people attended the after party, 13 chicettes wore Behnaz Sarafpour, the last song was played at 12:50 a.m. and Picasso created more than 20,000 works of art.”

More extensive features include an interview with the duo behind Dolce & Gabbana, and a six-page Hermès photo retrospective and timeline. According to the writer, a Hermès scarf that retails for $320 is sold every twenty seconds somewhere in the world.

The back page features the “Mini Quiz,” which tests readers on what they absorbed while reading the magazine. I scored 70 percent, which indicates the following: “The Mini and you go together like Christmas and Brazil, silkworm cocoons and Hermès, Ivanka Trump and Renoir—all of which make sense to you because you’ve mastered your Mini.”

So, apparently I’m a pseudo-fash insider, still a long way from that front row seat.

 
 
 

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