This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (February 2021)
|Frequency||6 issues per year|
|Final issue||March 2020 (print)|
|Based in||New York City|
It was created in 1972 by the publisher of sister magazine Women's Wear Daily, James Brady. Originally a biweekly newspaper that was spun off from Women's Wear Daily, it became its own monthly magazine in 1993. Conde Nast purchased W from the original owner, Fairchild Publications in 2000. The magazine is still an oversize format – ten inches wide and thirteen inches tall. Sara Moonves is its current editor-in-chief.
W has a reader base of nearly half a million, 469,000 of which are annual subscribers.
Originally a biweekly newspaper that was spun off from Women's Wear Daily, W became an oversized monthly magazine in 1993.
Often the subject of controversy, W has featured stories and covers which have provoked mixed responses from its intended audience. In July 2005, W produced a 60-page Steven Klein portfolio of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt entitled "Domestic Bliss". The shoot was based upon Pitt's idea of the irony of the perfect American family; set in 1963, the photographs mirror the era when 1960s disillusionment was boiling under the facade of pristine 1950s suburbia.
Other controversial cover shoots include Steven Meisel's entitled "Asexual Revolution", in which male and female models (including Jessica Stam and Karen Elson) are depicted in gender-bending styles and provocative poses. In addition, Tom Ford's racy shoot with Klein and the accompanying article on sexuality in fashion came as a shock to some loyal readers. During the interview, Ford is quoted as saying "I've always been about pansexuality. Whether I'm sleeping with girls or not at this point in my life, the clothes have often been androgynous, which is very much my standard of beauty." Klein also was the photographer for the racy[why?] photo shoot featured in the August 2007 issue, showcasing David and Victoria Beckham. Bruce Weber produced a 60-page tribute to New Orleans in the April 2008 issue, and shot a 36-page story on the newest fashion designers in Miami for the July 2008 issue. Most of W's most memorable covers are featured on the W Classics page on the magazine's website.
W is also known for its coverage of Western and some Asian society. Many of these society luminaries, as well as the elite of the entertainment and fashion industries, have allowed W into their homes for the magazine's "W House Tours" feature, including Marc Jacobs, Sir Evelyn Rothschild and Imelda Marcos.
In 2011, Meisel created controversy again by promoting fake advertisements throughout the November issue of the magazine. In 2013, he shot RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3 contestant Carmen Carrera in an editorial called "Show Girl", promoting the beauty of the transgender model.
In June 2019, Sara Moonves was named as its first-ever female editor-in-chief. The new W team finished the biggest Best Performances issue ever. In the first week of January 2020, W launched nine covers, a 76-page celebrity portfolio covering 29 celebrities and 20 videos.
Additionally, the magazine launched a series of new initiatives and dramatically expanded its digital footprint. They launched W’s first podcast, 5 Things with Lynn Hirschberg, which has attracted a broad listener base and included guests like Quentin Tarantino, Charlize Theron, Saoirse Ronan, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, and Margot Robbie as a part of the new vision for the brand. 
Under Moonves's editorship the magazine underwent a major transition.
On August 14, 2020, W was acquired by a group of new investors. They retained Moonves as editor in chief. Daily Front Row credited Moonves with lining up the investors, which included supermodel Karlie Kloss.
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Sara Moonves, the glossy’s first female editor in chief in its 50-year history, assembled the group, led by model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss. Other celebrity investors include fashion fixtures Lewis Hamilton and 18-year-old Kaia Gerber.
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