• U.S.

The Press: Patcevitch for Nast

3 minute read

When Condè Nast died (TiME, Sept. 28), his last wish was to name his successor. Last week Condè Nast Publications’ board of directors gladly confirmed his choice: 42-year-old Iva Sergei Voidato Patcèvitch, Nast’s executive assistant since 1928. Conde Nast editors remain unchanged.

Condè Nast met Patcèvitch, appropriately, at a swank Manhattan party. Young Patcèvitch, with his lean, cultured face and Vogueish good manners, was on his rapid way up in a Wall Street brokerage house. He had been in the U.S. only since 1923. Son of a White Russian civil governor, he was educated at the Imperial Naval Academy, served as liaison officer between the Russians and British on the Eastern Front. During the Russian Revolution he went to work for the Near East Relief in Persia and Turkey. There he met Americans who gave him valuable letters of introduction to friends in Manhattan.

From 1932 to 1936, Patcèvitch did an expert trouble-shooting job on Paris Vogue (he was succeeded by Thomas Kernan, author of Paris on Berlin Time) and married London Vogue’s beautiful Nada Jellibrand. When he returned to Manhattan, Condè Nast put him on the board of directors. Special Patcèvitch talents are: 1) social graces and fashionable tastes that blend perfectly with the smart world of Condè Nast Publications; 2) a canny head for business management. The second talent is the one that is most needed.

Condè Nast publications made a net profit of $1,345,653 in 1929; last year their net was $225,688.62. A deficit showed up in the first six months of this year—$28,588 as compared with a profit of $137,389 for the same period a year ago. Chief reason: a slump in luxury advertising—15% and 20% for Vogue and House & Garden respectively. House & Garden is still in the red; so is Glamour. French Vogue had to be written off the books.

But there was also a brighter side. The Nast pattern business was on the upgrade due to fatter consumer paychecks. The Nast $2,000,000 printing and engraving plant runs three shifts (it prints the New Yorker, Mademoiselle, Nation’s Business, a half-dozen other magazines). British Vogue’s profits ($100,000 last year) are not shown in U.S. statements.

Fact was that Condè Nast was a sound publishing property. It had fought its way put of heavy depression losses ($500,000 m 1933). Taking cognizance of the new luxury-clipped realities, it had unloaded Vanity Fair and The American Golfer, tapped wider audiences with Hollywood Patterns and Glamour. What it needed now to keep it solvent was shrewd management. Condè-Nastians agree that President “Pat” Patcèvitch promises a more solvent future than anybody else in sight.

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