November 16, 2003
The Gold and Platinum Standard

VFcover.jpgIn "Who's Smoking Now," an article on High Times Magazine's re-branding by John Leland in The Times 'Styles' section, Richard Stratton, the magazine's new publisher and editor-in-chief envisions the new magazine as "'an outlaw version of Vanity Fair,' with a dash of Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado... a magazine for epicurean libertarians who may or may not smoke marijuana."
A noble goal, to be sure, but he should be careful about that Vanity Fair comparison. Many are the magazines (and, oddly, restaurants and resorts) that have sought to compare themselves (or were favorably compared by others) to the venerable magazine of moguls, royalty, disposable stars, and Christopher Hitchens and fallen flat on their faces. Here is but a sampling:

Radar: "it'll be Spy meets Vanity Fair."
Heeb: "Think of it like a Jewish lowbrow Vanity Fair."
Playboy: "could be the sexual Vanity Fair."
George: "Vanity Fair of politics." "the Vanity Fair of medical writing."
Wired: "the Vanity Fair of the internet generation."
Eat: "Think Dazed & Confused meets Vanity Fair."
The Millennium Restuarant: "The Vegetarian Times meets Vanity Fair."
The Oxford American Magazine: "kind of like Spy meets Vanity Fair with text from The New Yorker."
The Costanoa resort in California: "It's Outside Magazine meets Vanity Fair."
Seed Magazine: "Scientific American Meets Vanity Fair."
Sense Magazine: "Town & Country meets Vanity Fair."
Luxury Magazine: "ROBB REPORT meets VANITY FAIR."
Melbourne Magazine: "wallpaper meets vanity fair."
Savoy Magazine: "African-American Vanity Fair."
Los Angeles Magazine: "aspired to be a west-coast Vanity Fair."
low culture: "The Vanity Fair of blogs."

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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