Idea Books

Media merch is the new fashion flex



New York Herald Tribune t-shirt Jean Seberg

Reading about the ubiquity of the New Yorker tote recently got me thinking about the rise of media branded merch.

The New Yorker has just expanded its merch line, allowing its cultured readership to outwardly express their taste and identity. As traditional magazine sales and ad revenues decline, reinforcing the ‘brand’ is a commercial savvy move for media titles. In a timely plot twist, it also effectively lets the reader advertise the magazine, instead of the magazine selling advertising to its readers. “The New Yorker knows that it is now a brand, that it represents a cross-section of a very specific, cultured, informed, democratic public, who knows who they are (or aspires to be) and loves to show it off,” observes NSS Magazine.

New Yorker tote bag by NSS magazine

In a similar vein, the New York Times has been enjoying its elevated style status, with its logo and ad campaigns being co-opted in recent years by the likes of Etudes and Sacai as part of official collaborations. It reminded me of my 20-something year-old New York Herald Tribune tee. A riff on the cinematic classic worn by Jean Seberg in A Bout de Souffle (top), the combo of gothic nameplate typography and trusted legacy journalism seem particularly resonant right now. (You can actually buy an official copy here, among a variety of NYT-branded fare.)

New York Herald Tribune tee

Some other media brands that have good merch: Monocle, IDEA Books (it kind of counts) and The London Review of Books*, which sells not only a number of chic book bags but branded chocolate and this cool enamel pin too.

And if they’re open to requests, I’d suggest Air Mail (a red and white tote!), the FT (a cute peach sweatshirt?), and Porter magazine (maybe a Sporty & Rich-style logo cap)…

 

*As I’m wont to do, I was diverted down a Google tunnel while researching links and found this revealing article on the LRB from 2014. The business model is most fascinating!

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: To come, NSS, New York Times
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Old money, old Vuitton



louis vuitton classic bag

Sometimes I miss classic, old school, old money Louis Vuitton – no bells, no cyber whistles. It takes me back to my old au pairs with their tan-strapped cross body monogrammed bags, belted camel coats and stack heeled boots. (And denim flares, it was the late 70s.) Oh yes, I had very chic au pairs….

classic louis Vuitton bag

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
SECOND IMAGE: Idea Books/ Instagram