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The Business of Magazines #3
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The Business of Magazines #2
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RETURN JOURNEY: It was Peter Lindbergh’s decision to return to Vogue after 18 years of shooting for Harper’s Bazaar. Lindbergh, who formerly worked for Vogue, had been lured to Harper’s Bazaar by the late Liz Tilberis, who arrived at Harper’s Bazaar in 1992.

Sources claimed it was the photographer’s decision not to renew his contract at Hearst. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is clear — he won’t have a contract at Vogue. A Vogue spokesman was unsure when Lindbergh’s work will begin appearing in the magazine.

Love is what you want

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App and print a happy mix for Miss Vogue
STYLE bible Vogue Australia is extending its perfectly manicured reach into the younger demographic with the launch of a print edition and tablet app for its Miss Vogue brand, aimed at fashionistas aged 19 to 29.

The print magazine will be designed as a collectable keepsake and appear twice a year, with the first edition on newsstands on September 2 and the next one appearing in March, in line with the key fashion seasons. The app will be available from August 30.

Miss Vogue was previously a digital-only brand, launching online in September as part of the website.

Despite the well-known predilection of younger readers to consume media online, Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann said she believed that "girls still want print".

"It's almost like the nostalgia for vinyl," she said. "They still want it on the coffee table because it says something about them.

"It's more that their habits have changed. They're just not visiting newsagents as frequently."

British Vogue has also launched a Miss Vogue, which McCann said was "testament to the real hunger for the product, not just in the Australian market, but globally".

The Australian editions of Vogue and Miss Vogue are published by News Life Media, part of News Corp Australia, which also owns The Australian.

The print magazine and the digital version will have very different pricing strategies, with the first edition of the app testing the waters at only $2.99 while the print title, which will stay on the shelves for six months, will cost a premium $9.95.

That is in line with the cover price of niche fashion mastheads such as Russh and Oyster and above other titles aimed at the younger women's market, such as Bauer Media's Shop Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Cleo, and Morrison Media's Frankie.

The magazine will have 160 pages and a likely print run of 65,000 copies.

It is edited by Paris-based Alice Cavanagh, who McCann poached from editing Oyster magazine and who between editions also contributes to the website, with Vogue's Christine Centenera as fashion director.

"They're the hippest girls I know," McCann said.

Miss Vogue will offer a mix of luxury, contemporary and high-street fashion, beauty, lifestyle and articles focusing on personalities and pop culture.

The companion app extends the print content with information on music releases, exclusive video content and shopping pages which enable users to share and click-to-buy.

"We've designed the Miss Vogue Australia experience of print, app, digital and social media touch points to work together as an exclusive multi-platform experience," Cavanagh said.

"It is an incredible opportunity to engage with Vogue's younger readers in a new and inspired way. It's an entirely fresh concept in terms of content and the way in which it is being created and presented."

I suppose Vogue Australia had Miss Vogue before British Vogue but it was only online. The concept however isn't new with the likes of Teen Vogue and Vogue Girl.

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Ugh... dammit, Vanity Fair!

Beyoncé, Dead Celebrities Top Newsstand Sales

THE QUICK AND THE DEAD: George Lois was at his office recently when he saw the September issue of Vanity Fair, and the legendary magazine designer had a reaction that will seem familiar to a lot of people. “It is true when I opened the magazine I wondered what dead person was on the cover this month,” he said.

It’s Princess Diana. The magazine pulls the dead person trick so frequently the latest cover was greeted with a chorus of derision from some corners of the Internet. Gawker called it out of touch.

Diana had already been beaten there by Audrey Hepburn, who appeared on the cover in May. In June 2012, Marilyn Monroe was trotted out yet again to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her death. The year the most dead celebrities appeared on Vanity Fair’s cover was 2010, when Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn, again, all did so. The Kennedys practically deserve posthumous contributing editor credits for the number of appearances they’ve notched over the years.

Unfortunately for Lois, Gawker, and anyone who scoffs at these periodic resurrections, they are not going to stop anytime soon. That’s because dead people on magazine covers is what America wants. Just look at the newsstand numbers.

Vanity Fair’s bestseller so far this year? It was that young ingenue Hepburn — 308,000 copies, including digital replicas, almost 100,000 more than the worst-seller, Taylor Swift in April, who sold a little more than 211,000 copies, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Nor is Vanity Fair alone in spotlighting the deceased. Town & Country does these covers too — Ronald Reagan was riding into the sunset next to his still living widow Nancy in November. But more often editor in chief Jay Fielden prefers once megasuccessful, now fading living legends — Lauren Hutton, Gloria Vanderbilt and Ali MacGraw are recent pin-ups.

The obsession with dead celebrities is not unlike Hollywood’s attempt to revive faded brands, like “The Lone Ranger.” There’s the expectation they still have some juice left, and the public is more likely to respond to them than a new face.

Fielden said his choices are motivated by the continued fascination of the public with subjects who may be past their prime or are long dead.

“We love dead people,” Fielden said. “It’s part of all of our lives, so why should magazines be lassoed to some sort of rule that doesn’t apply to other parts of our lives? What genre of books is most popular? Biographies. And those are often about dead people.”

Newsstand sales bear him out. During a month crowded by relevant political news stories, Fielden misfired with the Reagans, which sold below average, but Hutton turns out to have been a prescient choice — she’s so far the year’s best performer, selling 44,343 copies in June, a typically soft month, and was a bigger draw than April’s Allison Williams of “Girls” by almost 7,000 copies.

The figures are why Fielden is sticking to the formula. “We want to do it when it’s an opportune moment. We’re not the only ones thinking about the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death in November,” Fielden said.

Face it, magazine circulation needs all the help it can get: Newsstand sales for the first half of the year declined by 10 percent, according to figures released last week. The numbers show that editors would be wise to stick by a few operating principles: sex sells, three celebrities are better than one and Beyoncé trumps everyone, even the First Lady of the United States.

Vogue styled Beyoncé looking so regal for its March cover, she outsold an exclusive interview in April with Michelle Obama, 355,397 to 293,798, a difference of about 60,000 copies, digital replicas included.

Elsewhere, magazines scrambled to provoke with lesser deities. The first-half numbers are a testament to the undying power of sex appeal. Cute Miley Cyrus, trying to break out from the tween pop star mold, donned a revealing white pantsuit on Cosmopolitan’s March cover and sold 1,090,018 copies, the magazine’s second-bestseller. Number one? Kim Kardashian, in a push-up top, in the April issue, smiling beside an enormous headline, “The Sex Move.”

The worst seller was the television actress Rachel Bilson (918,706). Miley’s chaste rival, Selena Gomez was InStyle’s worst seller (375,790, 15 percent below the six-month average). Swift’s track record continues to be mixed. She may have bombed on Vanity Fair but in March, she gave Elle its best numbers, 215,949 copies, 66,000 more than the magazine’s worst seller, Jessica Biel in January.

Nicki Minaj is indisputably newsstand poison. Appearing on the April cover of Elle and in Teen Vogue in June-July, she sold the second fewest number of copies for both. Teen Vogue’s readers prefer male matinee idols — One Direction last year, and Justin Bieber in May (104,018).

Glamour’s readers lapped up a nearly topless Kate Hudson in April (323,810), followed by January’s Anne Hathaway (306,428). The teenage actress Dakota Fanning, doing her best Baby Jane impression, flopped in March, the second most important issue of the year, with just 289,205, 4 percent below the six-month average.

Showing some skin also worked for Marie Claire, whose number-one seller in April featured the film actress Olivia Wilde in a translucent, powder-blue blouse. Heidi Klum, on the other hand, sold the least, 119,625. Harper’s Bazaar recruited a familiar face for March, Drew Barrymore, who topped the first half with 130,095 copies sold, to Jennifer Lopez’s low of 105,657 in February.

In these trying times when you can’t count on one celebrity to sell magazines, some doubled — or tripled — up. Vanity Fair’s second-bestseller was in March, which featured Ben Affleck, Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper (274,987). The trio of Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis performed best for InStyle, selling 585,282. Kunis was also Allure’s bestseller in March (140,696). W got it right by sending to newsstands three separate covers in March featuring Kate Moss, Natalia Vodianova and Lara Stone, their bestseller so far this year.

Meanwhile, January, a typically weak month for everyone, was a wash for titles that bet on untested box-office draws: Jessica Chastain (19,898) in W, Amanda Seyfried in InStyle (401,468), and Biel in Elle (149,440). Vogue stumbled with Rooney Mara in February (217,318 copies).

What does Lois, a design legend who created some of the most iconic covers ever, make of the latest trends? Dead people covers are not necessarily lazy, he said. Two of the best ones he ever designed fall under that category — one from 1964 featured a hand wiping a tear from a photo of John F. Kennedy, another, from 1968, was a triptych of Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King Jr. But this is a different time and magazines are under more intense commercial pressures.

“My covers all had ideas to them. Nobody’s covers basically have any ideas going on. Vanity Fair doesn’t either. But [editor in chief Graydon Carter] looks at things like this and he probably found there is a story,” he said. Even Lois is vulnerable to the nostalgia trips. Recently, he thought, “Alright, I’ll read the damn Audrey Hepburn story.”

clever ain't wise
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^I think they are missing the point here - why do people love dead people - not because they are boring but because current stars are boring. There are precious few bona fide stars these days - it doesn't matter if they push Jessica Biel on us ten years in a row - she was over after one season because there is nothing THERE. And there are so many stars who are like that today. The lights are on but there's no one at home.

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^ so true and I love your final quote lol

C 시원한 KOREA high fashion magazine
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Wow, InStyle is so popular. More popular than Vogue and ELLE?

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Its interesting they are praising Beyonce's selling numbers for Vogue, when in fact last year Adele's March issue sold over 400.000 copies.

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The March and September issues are almost always the best-selling regardless of who's on them so I never understand these articles praising the celebrities who grace those months.

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Hearst Hires Buzzfeed, Fashionista Editors

HEARST’S NEW DIGITAL BUZZ: Early on Tuesday, it seemed as though a housecleaning was under way at Hearst Magazines.

Amina Akhtar, the executive editor of, tweeted she’d been laid off, and it was later confirmed Abby Gardner, the digital director of, was also out. But it seems at least the two editors were let go to make room for a pair of well-known bloggers. Amy Odell, who just launched Buzzfeed Fashion in July, is jumping to Cosmopolitan to become the new editor of its Web site after a year and a half at the site popular for its goofy listicles. And Leah Chernikoff, the editorial director of the blog Fashionista, is joining in a similar capacity.

The hires were made by Troy Young, the new president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, who came over from digital outfit Say Media in May and has in a short amount of time poached a number of high-profile executives, most prominently Todd Haskell, former group vice president, advertising at The New York Times.

There were an unspecified number of other layoffs as Young is said to be working on an overhaul of the digital division that will include new hires, according to sources. Hearst declined to comment on the layoffs.

Odell edited and wrote for New York magazine’s fashion blog The Cut for four years and then in 2012 left to launch a women’s-interest vertical at Buzzfeed that in July was re-branded as Buzzfeed Fashion. She oversaw a handful of bloggers there and also wrote a fair amount, her editorial sensibility in colorful display in recent posts like “This Fanny Pack For Your Boobs Promises to Get You Through Any Rave” and “The Art of Wearing Adorable Tiny Rings.”

Buzzfeed even threw a party in her honor to celebrate the relaunch in July at Provocateur in New York’s Meatpacking District, but it seems Hearst made her a sweeter offer.

“Amy’s well-respected point of view will drive Cosmo as the site evolves its content,” Young said. Odell will be trading Buzzfeed Fashion’s 7 million monthly uniques for Cosmo’s 12.2 million, according to Hearst.

Chernikoff was with Fashionista, which has some 2 million monthly uniques, for a little more than two and a half years, and she’ll now be in charge of a site with some 3.4 million uniques.

The two editors will shape the sites’ direction to cover “the big stories that matter to our users,” Young said. Those include “young women who care about the worlds of fashion, entertainment, politics, women’s issues and world news.” Odell and Chernikoff start Sept. 16. Odell’s duties will now be handled by Shani Hilton, Buzzfeed’s deputy executive editor.

Sometime after tweeting she was laid off, Akhtar changed her biography on Twitter: “Formerly of Free agent. Hire me, really.”

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Suzanne Imre has been appointed Editor of InStyle, effective immediately, replacing Eilidh MacAskill. Suzanne joins from Livingetc where she has been Editor since 2002; Livingetc's Deputy Editor Neil McLennan takes up the role of Acting Editor of the title in the interim.

source: fashion monitor

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That's rather strange.

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The Internet is a tough nut to crack for any fashion-oriented publishing house. Even if a publisher headhunts talented bloggers - who are as rare as talented print writers - to replace editors who either can't get a handle on virtual media or have been chosen as scapegoats for superiors who can't, they face a problem in the form of ageing fashion industry executives who can barely get it together to communicate by email.

These dinosaurs consequently prevent their younger executives from supporting virtual media start-ups, preferring to remain with familiar titles and their decidedly moribund websites.

That said, things are changing and there are several major houses whose directors are open to supporting new media. In many cases, however, as we saw with the launch before it was taken over by people who printed web pages to read them over lunch (I kid you not), fashion industry executives want to see familiar names on the virtual mastheads and bloggers elevated to editor status with little or no formal training or hard core on-the-job experience do not inspire confidence amongst such executives nor, for that matter, amongst the experienced, qualified journalists and editors with whom the houses feel comfortable.

I mean, how can you expect "Annabella Airhead" or "Daphne Doughnut" to call up and commission content from front and second row names? As for the wordage rates offered, they are truly laughable, because bloggers have convinced many of the those running the big publishing houses that writing costs nothing.

The paradox is that the Internet is actually stimulating the return of good, old school, concise journalism consisting of short, well-written pieces, which are far harder to generate than long features. Which brings us back to the basic problem I mentioned earlier: good writers are at a premium.


“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” - Oscar Wilde
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Elissa Santissi leaves vogue for Bazaar.

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Interesting, never a huge fan of her work as it is, so i wonder how she will fit into HB world.

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