Condé Nast, McKinsey and the Death of Endless DreamsS

McKinsey consultants are very close to completing their evaluation of Conde Nast and all of its glorious over-consumption. This can only mean one thing: the dismantling of a publishing empire and, also, countless unborn dreams.

The magazine — and by extension, fashion — world has long been an enabler of international consumption. Within the world of publishing, that consumption has been a bright light for journalistic moths looking for the sweet life, and Conde Nast, publisher of Vogue, has burned the brightest. Anna Wintour claims things are going well, but we have our doubts.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out McKinsey's has been taking a hard look at that title and others who spend freely. One of the group's main goals has been to reduce redundancy, which means Details, sources tell the New York Observer's intrepid John Koblin, should be sweating in its Italian boots, because it's basically a younger-looking carbon copy of GQ.

Meanwhile, Vogue and Traveler have taken up most of the reportedly hunky McKinsey consultants' time, and there's talk that splashy photo shoots will get shit canned. Budget cuts all around will run around 5% on the low end and, some fear, could hit a 25% high mark for some doomed titles. But the aesthetic price will be incalculable:

When McKinsey drops by publishing houses, consultants target lavish photo shoots.

"There are little ways of cutting," said one staffer, who drank a bit of the McKinsey Kool-Aid. "You don't need to send an entire posse to Joshua Tree for a shot in the desert! Who cares! If the photographer is good, and the clothes are good, the models are good, it's fine-you can shoot downtown."

This could very well mean that teenage girls and gay men will no longer flip through glossy pages to dream about buying excessively overpriced designer duds, jetting off to foreign lands and generally gallivanting around the world without a care in their head.

No, they will be forced to entertain realistic dreams like hard work and budgeting, for there will no longer even be outlandish fantasies! Photo spreads will be nothing but emblems of uniform — socialist!! — dreariness. This will most certainly have a negative impact on the luxury market and, since trends trickle down, it will eventually hit the mass market, the developing world and, finally, the Third World, which will shrug and say, "Welcome to the club!"

Without these magazines and their impossible-to-attain aspirations, the universally accepted American dream will face an even steeper challenge. Again, two words: "hard work." They're scary, right?

Well, they're most scary to the scads of hopeful journalists who have longed for town cars, expensive fashion week excursions and tabloid-grabbing media appearances. The media superstar is facing supernova and ultimate, cosmic collapse. Start clipping those coupons and thinking of the bottom line, babies, because it's the end of an era. If you needed final proof that J-school no longer leads to Easy Street, this is it.