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One look at Suede makes it clear: Women of color aren't the afterthought here, they're the It girls. Published by Time Inc.-backed Essence Communications Partners, Suede says its goal is to give "multi-culti fashionistas" a magazine that will resonate in their lives.

"What was missing [for this group] was a true reflection of themselves," says Editor in Chief Suzanne Boyd. "They use fashion and beauty to express and amplify their personality."

Now is the time for Suede, says Publisher Enedina Vega, because there are "so many undercurrents" of multicultural influence in the world, from the "pop culture leaders" to "what you see when you walk down the street of any fashion center in the world."

Launched earlier this month with a rate base of 250,000, Suede had 40 ad pages in the first issue. Ms. Vega says the launch sold out quickly at many newsstands, so the pressrun was bumped up 100,000 for the second issue. Suede will publish nine issues in 2005.

Suede gives the influencers their say. The "message to advertisers was one of the marketplace not being served," says Ms. Vega.

"I like what I see so far," says Zenith's Mr. Greenberger, senior VP-director of print services at Publicis Groupe's Zenith Media, New York. "It seemed like it was more alive. I could see somebody enjoying having it."

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