My name is Naomi and I am a magazine junkie, no seriously, but despite my penchant for a magazine or six, I can either take or leave the summer issues. Last week I did my regular skim through the latest issues and the features sounded familiar. Why? Well, because they're the same stories that they are at this time every year.
Don't believe me? Have a look through the July issues of your favourite magazines and you'll be hard pressed to find a feature that is not along the lines of giving last minute tips to get that summer body or holiday skin tips and the like. Don't get me wrong, naturally these are issues that come along with the summer weather but it's as if for three months every year readers are no longer interested in wider features. Instead, our concerns are perceived as stopping at whether to go for a full Brazilian wax or French.
Eva Wiseman spoke about something similar in a recent article for the Guardian online, where she wrote that magazines seem to be in a time warp, with cover stories not generally breaking new ground beyond 'her diet, what she's wearing and who she's going out with.'
If you're a fan of Italian Vogue, then you might know that the magazine's website features - in addition to editor Franca Sozzani's popular blog - separate pages for "Black" and "Curvy" readers. In an interview with WWD, Sozzani explained why her publication chooses to make those call outs. She said: "Some said it was becoming the ghetto of plus-sized, the ghetto of black, but it’s not true. These are very happy readers, happy that we are looking at them in different ways. In “Curvy,” they are superhappy with their sizes. We help them dress fashionably. We say: It’s pointless for you to buy leggings, take this because this will look good on you. We help them choose. We don’t talk about diets because they don’t want to be on a diet, but it’s not a ghetto. Why should these women slim down? Many of the women who have a few extra kilos are especially beautiful and also more feminine."
'I have to sit down at a desk to flip through it,' [Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung] says. 'It is going to get very difficult to read. It's too heavy. Maybe it will have to be two magazines in future.'
Rumour has it, Dasha Zhukova has been working on a new magazine - quietly, of course, as no one can say for sure what the name will be, or even what it will cover. Fashion? Culture? The arts? It's up for speculation. However, Grazia Editor-at-Large Melanie Rickeytweeted yesterday: "Just heard first issue of Dasha Zhukova's magazine is published next month - a June edition. No idea of its name yet. Anyone know it?" Whatever Zhukova, the former editor of Pop, has up her sleeve, we're guessing it'll fly off the stands - if for no other reason than to let readers figure out what exactly it is.
Online fashion hub Style.com is coming out with a print version in the fourth quarter, meaning that we can expect the new offering in October, according to AdWeek, right after the spring fashion shows. It's unclear why Conde Nast (who owns Fairchild Fashion Group, the owner of Style.com) is rolling out a new magazine, but Fashionista confirmed that the mag will indeed be an extension of the brand. A Fairchild rep admitted that it's a "consumer play" from the group, which has traditionally focused on a trade audience, but says it's not the primary focus of the new project, as AdWeek led readers to believe.
And that was about all Fairchild could reveal. Although no publication schedule has been revealed, AdWeek reports that the title of the first issue will feature the name "Style.com", so a biannual calendar following each runway season would seem logical. Fairchild Editorial Director Peter Kaplan and Style.com Editor-in-Chief Dirk Standen will be behind the international glossy, and you can bet that we'll be waiting to get our hands on a copy.
It looks like you don't have to be a big advertiser to get a prime spot in a big magazine's editorial - well if you're Prabal Gurung or Phillip Lim that is.
This week Racked National published a list from a shoot that took place in LA for an unnamed magazine which included the big advertisers that they have to shoot in order of importance, and those brands that they'd still like to use.
As part of McKinsey's three-month examination of Conde Nast's financial operations (the evaluations end next week), a selection of magazines have been asked to cut budgets by about 25 percent, according to the New York Observer. Teen Vogue is believed to be in that group, the Observer's report continues, but it's unknown if Vogue or W are.
Although top executives have not come out with specifics on any cuts, sources say that money could be tightened by lessening expenses, eliminating freelance work, laying off employees or putting out less issues a year. Conde Nast CEO Chuck Townsend has said there are no plans to fold more magazines.
The masthead at Teen Vogue already seems to be changing, though. Senior fashion editor Aya Kanai has become West Coast contributing fashion editor, and Taylor Tomasi, formerly accessories director, has transtioned to Marie Claire as style and accessories director. Teen Vogue's Joanna Hillman, senior fashion market editor, has moved to Harper's Bazaar and was seen with the Bazaar crew all through New York Fashion Week, according to Fashionologie. Are anymore changes in the wind?
I read fashion magazines, but I’m not all up in the mix. I’m not from this world. I haven’t spent years in fashion making friends and making enemies. I barely know who half the people are. Obviously, I know that Katie Grand started Pop, and that it’s a product that’s so associated with her in this world. But in my world, it’s just Pop.
Magazines are in a really bad place at the moment; I mean really bad. WWD reports that this year's September issues will be a lot smaller than usual across the board. Let's just say that carrying our September issue will be a lot easier this year.
Publishers are said to have resorted to pushing closing dates back and dramatically dropping the page rates to encourage brands to spend on ad space. Although many were optimistic that things would improve despite the dramatic decline in ad pages over the past six months, recent figures prove otherwise.
According to reports, the September issues will have up to 30% less ads that previous years, with many publishers pleased that they have not lost more.
However, many luxury brands have dropped their campaigns for their pre-fall collections in the summer issues to focus their budgets on the fall, so hopefully the situation will improve soon.