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Kristina O’Neill’s First WSJ. Is a Fashion Issue With No Fashion Director

After last fall’s editor shuffle, the first edition of WSJ. during Kristina O’Neill’s tenure is ready to be delivered February 16. The cover features model Kati Nescher — Wall Street Journal readers, say “hi” to Kati — in spring 2013 Alexander Wang, setting up the issue’s theme: white. O’Neill told WWD the typical Journal browser doesn’t need “a lot of mixed messages. She wants a takeaway, which is what everyone wants when they open a fashion magazine.” Inside, the editor added a front-of-book “news digest” and a selection of columnists (including Karl Lagerfeld) to discuss a single topic.

Interestingly, the issue was put together without a fashion director. About a month after O’Neill was hired, she brought on Magnus Berger, of The Last Magazine and the ad agency Berger & Wild, as creative director, and recruited Allure’s David Thielebeule for market, but never filled the fashion slot.

“It’ll give us flexibility to work under a freelance infrastructure,” she said. The first issue counts as contributors Mikael Jansson, lensman for Salvatore Ferragamo and Gant; Patrick Demarchelier, who shot Delphine Arnault, and Vanity Fair’s man for interiors, photographer Todd Eberle, who, in a coup, got an inside look at Domenico De Sole’s South Carolina estate.

It’s a gutsy move for O’Neill, but if her debut cover is any indication of things to come, she’ll be fine.

See Kristina O’Neill’s First WSJ. Cover