“Magazines are just like books. People want the real thing, not just a flash on the iPad. It’s different. Reading magazines shows you’re taking fashion seriously.”
Zena Hao, a 24-year-old publicist, from Beijing in an insightful story in the New York Times on how Chinese luxury consumers are obsessed with glossy mags
I’ve just been reading all the AW12 catwalk round-ups in Elle, Grazia and Vogue. Futuristic silhouettes, seductive goth and baroque over-embellishment feature heavily but they don’t excite me on a personal level. I’m more likely to get fired up over a macho coat or the perfect cigarette trouser so today’s breaking news about Joanna Sykes’ appointment at Nicole Farhi is a biggie for me. Continue reading
My first men’s Paris Fashion Week was a wheeze of shows, presentations, exhibitions, parties and a tiny bit of shopping. Plus lots of people-watching outside cafes, drinking coffee and wafting pretend cigarettes. One of the most impressive presentations was the Berluti event in the lush Jardin du Palais Royal, I mean just look at the photos… Continue reading
There has been much talk lately about how the luxury retail landscape is changing and one person who is well ahead of the curve is Carmen Busquets. One of the original investors in Net-a-Porter who also backs other ventures including Moda Operandi, her current baby is Couturelab. Continue reading
Latest on the ‘brands as content creators’ tip: Armani is launching a series of discussions around the fashion industry, all to take place on Twitter. Starting on June 1st as part of Armani’s One Night Only in Beijing event, the #ArmaniTweetTalks Q&A discussion will be moderated by Peter Howarth with a panel composed of Vogue China’s Angelica Cheung, ‘publisher and tastemaker’ Hung Huang, fashion critic Godfrey Deeny, Yoox’s Federico Marchetti plus Susie Lau and Tommy Ton (you know who they are, right?). Continue reading
There has been quite the brouhaha over River Island showing a ‘blogger-inspired’ range to the press at its AW12 press day. Consisting of statement accessories and clothes (think texture clashing, fearless colourplay, bold prints, embellished everything) a few style bloggers have taken umbrage at being thought of as people who just throw on gaudy mis-matchy outfits to get attention from streetstyle photographers or other bloggers. To this I say, lighten up! Keep calm, keep your head down and carry on. River Island (and H&M with its forthcoming Anna Dello Russo collab) are just thinking commercially with this idea. Because to achieve this look (which I’d say is a particular experimental-eclectic blogger look than a general blogger look) you do need to buy things in multiples. So River Island, H&M et al will maximise on sales of say, a top, a bag and three necklaces, rather than just one piece. It’s smart business thinking innit!
Having missed the press day and the chance to appraise the AW12 collection myself, I asked River Island’s press office for their thoughts. Senior press officer Melissa Collins says, “the blogger story is representative of a look that’s interesting, exciting, not afraid to experiment, not afraid to try looks that break boundaries and to push limits and fashion forward. Bloggers are ambassadors of street style which has become such a key element of the fashion industry today. As a brand, we are defining what real people are wearing and we feel that bloggers are the voice of the real people.”
I think the debate is quite an interesting one as it does beg the question, where does style blogging go next? I’m sure this one will run and run and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the debate discussed further in Grazia next week…
Image: River Island Instagram
As the fashion publishing industry continues to go through ongoing changes, magazines are testing different ways to extend their brand messaging beyond the paper page. While Hearst has launched Hello Style to beckon the Youtube generation to its titles, Vogue went the interactive route last week with its two-day Vogue Festival. Continue reading
My take on The Future Of Fashion Magazines is generally that the collectable bi-annuals will continue and the commercial monthlies will eventually migrate to online-only. My Self Service magazines with their endless photo-editorials and long-form interviews have stood the test of time because they’re not topical (there’s no news or celeb interviews promoting their latest film-slash-beauty contracts), so the content is more ‘pure’. All the attention right now is on Carine Roitfeld’s forthcoming ‘fashion book’, CR Fashion Book (which is really a bi-annual magazine) and from this WWD article, the format looks to follow my theory. Only spreads and long form articles will be featured while the gaps between the twice yearly issued will be filled with more immediate, newsy online content.
Obviously, this switch won’t happen overnight. There’s still a huge market for print mags (evidenced by my own monthly tower of glossies), but the generation in its early teens now most likely won’t have the nostalgic connections to print magazines as we know them, so won’t continue to buy the Glamours and Grazias as we do.
And there’s another big development in magazines coming very soon indeed. Hearst’s tie-up with Youtube, a fashion channel called Hello Style launches on Saturday. I imagine these weekly digital TV shows from the likes of US Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan will have far reaching implications for the editorial industry as we know it, so I’ll be watching closely. Will you?