Magazines swore they’d never do it. “Editorial is editorial; commerce is commerce,” they chorused. But things are different now. Harper’s Bazaar has just launched Shop.Bazaar.com in preview, a shoppable edit for the Harper’s Bazaar woman. In essence it’s a bit like Net-a-Porter in reverse. It has shoppable content curated via the pages of Harper’s Bazaar by its impeccably-pedigreed editors and is powered in partnership with retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Hirshleifers (Harper’s doesn’t hold any inventory itself; its fashion cupboards are big, but not that big), as well as mono-brands like Salvatore Ferragamo. I’ve just signed up so I’m having a play. Will report back…
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?
It’s a long time since I got this excited about a magazine cover but Harper’s Bazaar UK has done it for me. A few months ago, there was a flurry of excitement on Twitter as editor Lucy Yeomans dropped hints about a groundbreaking Harper’s cover shoot she had been on. Duran Duran was mentioned, supermodels were mentioned and, well, that was enough to pique my interest*. (more…)