Fears of Wallpaper exodus as founder quits

Brûlé: "exceptional legacy"

Tyler Brûlé’s departure as editorial director of Wallpaper sparked fears of further staff fallout this week.

The award-winning design magazine Brûlé created is also losing long-serving creative director Ariel Childs and interiors editor Kelly Russell.

Brûlé’s resignation comes after his failed attempt to buy the magazine. It also follows the takeover of IPC by AOL Time Warner which saw Wallpaper integrated into IPC and Brûlé having to report to Mike Soutar, managing director of IPC Ignite.

Russell admitted the takeover had contributed to her departure. "It is obviously to do with the changeover; it was a good time to get out," she said.

"Tyler is leaving and it is a great loss. It won’t be the same."  Brûlé said: "I have stepped down but there is an exceptional legacy left behind."

He now intends to concentrate on his creative consultancy, Wink, whose clients include Selfridges. "I definitely see us focusing on customer publishing, broadcasting, publishing intelligence reports and even magazine projects further down the track." He said opportunities had widened for him and his ambition to launch a European business magazine was still possible in the long term.   Soutar insisted Wallpaper’s editorial direction and values would remain unchanged, claiming it was an "incredibly special magazine which will continue to be a byword for the very best new design, architecture, interiors, travel and entertainment".

A source said: "Whatever people think of the magazine, everyone realised that it was original and very much formed in the editor’s own image. Wallpaper has an exclusive high-end feel – you can’t suddenly suburbanise it." Christina Ferrari, founder of Time Inc’s US title Teen People, will take Brûlé’s place temporarily. She said she could contribute ideas and bring stability but wanted to sit down with staff who were "the experts".

Brûlé and the Wink team will remain in London and he will report to Michael Pepe, president of Time Inc International.

 

By Ruth Addicott

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