"...Several Condé Nast editors said off the record that the budget cuts have not significantly altered the atmosphere of the top magazines, which have long had access to the best photographers and readily projected a spare-no-expense mentality to help maintain their status. A fashion shoot at a magazine like Vogue, or Vanity Fair, or W, can easily cost $150,000. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, has killed shoots that didn’t meet her standards and ordered them reshot. Such creative excess serves Vogue’s star image, like the Town Cars waiting outside Condé Nast, and apparently has been condoned by management so long as revenues are high.
In other areas, though, Ms. Wintour is known for being strict with her budgets and questioning expenses. There are likely to be fewer Vogue editors at the shows in Europe this fall. It may be difficult for outsiders to appreciate the logic in fashion shoots that require a team of 30 photographic assistants, digital producers, lighting experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, a manicurist, editorial gofers and caterers to feed everyone. It’s not uncommon at a top American magazine, editors say, to spend $5,000 a day just on food at a shoot. In this regard, European glossies are practically tightwads.
The mentality is changing, however. Another Condé Nast editor, referring to chastened consumers, said: “Everybody thought they had to spend money. They thought it was a new way of life. Now they’re rubbing the dust out of their eyes. ‘I don’t need that handbag. What was I doing?’ ”..." - Cathy Horyn, The New York Times