What’s Wrong With Vogue?

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by ellastica, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. ellastica

    ellastica Well-Known Member

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    FASHION & STYLE | CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

    What’s Wrong With Vogue?


    By CATHY HORYN DEC. 31, 2008

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    Lars Klove for The New York Times


    NO one at Vogue, least of all its editor in chief, Anna Wintour, could have been seriously stung by a recent letter from a reader complaining that the magazine was in a rut. After all, Ms. Wintour chose to publish the letter, which chided the magazine for featuring the same women — “Gwyneth Paltrow, Caroline Trentini, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman, Sienna Miller, blah, blah, blah,” as the reader, Kathryn Williams of San Diego, said. “I could make a calendar of your cover girls, and it would probably repeat year after year.” She added: “Let’s face it: Vogue is getting a bit stale. It is a pity, too — because the magazine is still much better than the others.”

    What is remarkable — given the rumors last month that Ms. Wintour was going to be replaced by the French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld — is that she was able to include not merely a critical view but one that accurately identifies the problem with the magazine. Vogue has become stale and predictable, and it has happened in spite of some of the best editors, writers and photographers in the business. And it has happened in spite of a leader who “only cares what readers care about,” according to a long-time staff member.

    Because of her intimidating presence, heightened by an almost unvarying personal style — the bob, the sunglasses, the extra armor of her Cheeverish clothes — Ms. Wintour, 59, is considered the ultimate fashion editor. In fact, her instincts are really those of a journalist. She has periodically updated Vogue over the last 20 years to reflect changes in the world and in women’s lives. She has introduced new photographers, beginning in the late 1980s with Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel. At the same time she has a deep respect for the work of Irving Penn, as if she knows that Mr. Penn, however contemporary his pictures, is part of the mysterious link to Vogue’s — and fashion’s — past.


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    TIME OUT In January, deep into a recession, models are portrayed on an outing in ’50s suburban garb | Credit Lars Klove for The New York Times

    SOURCE nytimes.com
     
  2. tigerrouge

    tigerrouge don't look down

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    I was about to say: "why has Vogue published a letter in 2019 with criticisms that were valid sometime around 2009?" when I saw the date that article was first published.

    Imagine a moment when US Vogue's problems amounted to having Sienna Miller on the cover too many times for some - probably most - people's tastes.

    Whereas in 2019: What's right with Vogue?
     
  3. magsaddict

    magsaddict Active Member

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    how things change. The past decade has been catastrophic for print. Strange to read this and realise that the biggest problems back then were stale cover stars and content. Now its more like.. can we afford to still print 12 issues a year?
     
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  4. Bertrando3

    Bertrando3 Well-Known Member

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    Vogue still does it wrong: having Gigi, Kendal, Kim and Bella on every cover cover and in every issue does not make the magazine sales better. We want to see different people, interesting actresses, entertainers and STOP with Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga every now and then too, it´s getting tiresome. In the whole wide world don´t tell me there are not more interesting and creative people to write about and to shoot with?! This is call lazyness Anna. Full stop.
     
  5. Drusilla_

    Drusilla_ Member

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    Quick answer: for American Vogue, desperately chasing the currency of social media "engagement" without understanding that Vogue endorsing it through choices of cover models etc, cheapens the Vogue brand. Made worse by the fact that most of those social media insta models can't take a good picture in an actual magazine, to save their lives ---> visual quality of the magazine as a whole going down.
     
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  6. tigerrouge

    tigerrouge don't look down

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    Ten or so years ago, I took it for granted that I could open a copy of US Vogue and see David Gandy dressed as superman, and thought nothing of it.

    Those days are long gone...
     
  7. FashionMuseDior

    FashionMuseDior Active Member

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    No money going in = No good print content
     
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  8. modela

    modela Well-Known Member

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    Care to explain ?

    Vogue's problem and the same can be said of the rest of the fashionindustry is their sheer unwillingness to champion real talent in fear of losing their own spot.
     
  9. Bertrando3

    Bertrando3 Well-Known Member

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    To me they have already lost it:

    1 - British Vogue offers now (it seems) a direct competition to Anna´s US Vogue edition and they bring in fact more diversity (which, quite frankly is refreshing in 2019 to see more models and celebrities of COLOUR)
    2 - I personally stopped buying and subscribing to US Vogue years ago
    3 - On the editorial side many people I know or myself are almost never even being moved by any editorials or ideas so far
    4 - The constant cover subjects rotation of the same mould is nauseating: Kim / Gigi / Kendall / Gaga / Rihanna / Beyoncé

    So ultimately Vogue keeps their selling power because of what?
    1 - their advertisers (which will go someday coz the future of magazines is DIGITAL no matter what bof says or what many people believe that print will go back being trendy anyways)
    2 - The ``brand´´ which keeps helping Vogue being bought in comparison to other magazines of the same era

    Anna will never retire, so it will only be when she dies that the magazine will see some change but I´m afraid that boat has sailed already because Teen Vogue, Men´s Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Brazilian Elle, Men´s Vogue China and so so so so so many fashion magazines dies and fold over the last 10 years.

    a- People don´t buy magazines like they used to
    b- Men don´t buy as many mags as they do with newspapers
    c- For environmental reasons it´s better to buy a digital mag than the print copy
    d- The generation Z kids have almost never purchased a magazine, no matter who the main cover celebrity is on, they live literally on their phones and on social media therefore don´t need to buy the magazine in print to get the pictures in HQ or watch the covershoot video
    e- People like me who were magazines superfans and who could spend 50€ on a monthly basis for yearsssss to get many magazines stopped altogether buying magazines.

    So... what´s next? I am almost sure the future of US Vogue is not a bright one and losing established photographers has not helped either.
     
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  10. aracic

    aracic Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to disagree with some of this.
    First of all, the rotating list of cover models is rather inaccurate. Kim Kardashian got 2 covers within the period of what, 5 years now? She's an established fashion superstar (regardless of how she earned that spot, it's a fact) and in my opinion, she deserved even more for her accomplishments. In that same period of 5 years, Lupita Nyong'o got 4 covers, three of which were year after year (even the same month) which makes her the most recurring cover star in the last 5 years of Vogue.
    Kendall Jenner also has two covers which is really not enough judging by her ''influence''. I'm not a fan of her and I'm glad she doesn't have more covers but realistically, she should have more. Gigi Hadid has 3 covers, all of which were group shots. A model as successful and hard working as Gigi deserves way better than to be treated as an accessory to men who otherwise couldn't be on the cover. Bella, on the other hand, has no Vogue covers which is a blasphemy to be honest.

    But I get your point. It is repetitive, predictable and boring as hell. I mean they gave a cover to bloody Justin Bieber in 2019. If they hadn't no one would even know he was alive. It must've been tough to lose 3 of her biggest photographers, all at the same time. And it seems like Anna never really recovered from it cause all we get now are cheap Testino, Weber and Demarchelier wannabe's. There's really no newness, it's just a cheaper and uglier version of what they did before cause now the team she's working with has little to no talent and vision so we end up with a mess that's 2010s Vogue.
    There's a lot of things that are wrong with Vogue. But it's not all about Anna. It's everyone involved. Everyone's playing it safe because they're afraid. The world today is sensitive and very, very easily offended which makes it quite hard to satisfy everyone. I would personally love to see someone as bold and daring as Franca take over and spice it up a little. Imagine if she feared judgement and bad press. We would have died of boredom quite a long time ago.
     
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  11. Drusilla_

    Drusilla_ Member

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    ^ the Hadids are the exception to my view that most social media 'influencer'-type models can't actually hack it in high-fashion editorials. Both Gigi and Bella have put in the work and are the only two models of their ilk who imo could actually have made it into the industry even if they weren't the daughters of rich people.

    But yes, there's been a visual deterioration in quality from both ends - photographers and models. But there are plenty of even established photographers who are not Testino/Weber/Demarchelier - Anna and Vogue don't have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, not when there's so much photographic talent out there. I mean, Elaine Constantine? Emma Summerton? Tim Walker? (Who actually did shoot a Vogue cover with Madonna)
     
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  12. aracic

    aracic Well-Known Member

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    ^Exactly. It's shocking to me that Walker has only one American Vogue cover.
     
  13. ellastica

    ellastica Well-Known Member

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    I think it's more the medium rather than the message that's changed. Society's level of sensitivity or defensiveness hasn't all of a sudden surged (if anything we've become less sensitized); what has changed however (for better or for worse) is the sheer power and accessibility of social media for millions of people around the world who can now weigh in and express their opinion, anywhere, anytime about anything.

    That's a lot of people to answer to and please. A mind-boggling, daunting undertaking reflected in the number of magazines failing miserably, folding or producing lukewarm content reliant on dwindling, less diverse ad revenue. Non-offensive words, status quo images with mass appeal will never inspire or incite creatives to produce revolutionary, insightful ideas into the world or onto the pages of today's surviving magazines. Or will survival mode necessitate invention?
     
  14. Bertrando3

    Bertrando3 Well-Known Member

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    I agree why doesn´t Anna or Vogue as a brand hire more professional great photographers??? They are key to make a magazine live and get more people invested and to attract new readers and bring a new life to the pages of Vogue. But indeed new models and new editors would also bring new fresh blood. I am sooo curious to see how US Vogue will look like after Anna is gone. Vogue Italia vanished. Will it be the same with the American version? ... We´ll see.
     
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  15. Phuel

    Phuel Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ Because this brand of DIY/faux amateur/Instagram selfie "inclusive" aesthetic is popular, accessible and relatable to most people right now. It’s what’s hyped and what sells to the masses. And identity politics is more important than experienced creativity and passionate, hard-earned talent. Even on this forum, all that matters to some is that Virgil is heading Vuitton, that Tyler copped Anna's September issue, that Black models must have every cover of Vogues all across the world. Visionary creativity, original talent, and dedicated hard work isn’t important next to identity politics, shallow PC slogans, and fleeting SM popularity. Anna remains an extremely shrewd, sharp businesswoman and knows how to sell her Vogue, 30+ relevant years into her career. I’ll give her that.

    You know, I may not like everything that Emmanuelle stands for and her presentation of it (including having never had one of the many gorgeous Asian models on the cover of her Vogue, or just a main story. But a sole Asian model will likely never grace the cover of Edward's nor Anna’s Vogues either, so Emmanuelle’s not the only obstacle for giving a cover to thank a people that has been the biggest consumers of HF/luxury goods), she is the only one that has consistently kept the spirit of pure HF alive and well with VP. And I will gladly subscribe to Emmanuelle’s HF vision rather than the trendy PC gimmicks of Edward's and Anna's. I can get my social/political fix easily elsewhere, I don't need the illusional and rarified world of high fashion to reflect reality.

    I’m here to support unbridled creativity and visionary talent. It would be great to see POC that possesses these traits supported in the industry, rather than just another form of affirmative action to appease the PC times. What I’m concerned about is that when these mediocre talents run rapid in the industry with only identity politics to rely on, sooner or later, people will get tired of it and the truly talented POC will be shut out.
    When the pendulum swings too far to the left, it’s bound to swing to the right at some point…
     
  16. Mutterlein

    Mutterlein Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see Tessa Thompson on the cover of Vogue. She's actually CHIC and she's an amazing actress with populist appeal.

    Not sure if you noticed or if it's already been discussed but the new September issue REALLY changed it up. Since #metoo there's been a sea change. New photographers. new fashion editors. A new format and paper stock! Sure, it looks kinda just like British Vogue in more ways than one but that's definitely the step in the right direction.
     
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  17. Runabout

    Runabout Active Member

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    IKR? Reminds me that they post a couple of articles about their stuffs (e.g., street style articles) in a regular basis and it irked me so much. I really wanted to see other models in their articles but even then they ended up labelled in clickbait-ish titles. I mean, remember when they had difficulties in naming even the popular models like Sasha Luss, Caroline Brasch, and Grace Elizabeth to the point that they had to label them as "This model"? They're probably still doing it...

    This is why I hate their guts. They don't even bother promoting models who worked from the bottom. The thing is, I take Wintour's "Until models become celebrities" quote as somekind of a "gatekeeping" given at how biased they are with the nepo models still. Thankfully, this is an exception to some extent in international editions (e.g., Netherlands)
     
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  18. dsamg

    dsamg Well-Known Member

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    Gigi could not have made it into the industry as there was just not a market for that body type. She prides herself on 'disrupting' the standards but the truth is she only got away with those standards because of who she was. We saw what happened to superstars like Gemma or Natalia who dared to let themselves get anywhere close to that body. I am not saying that is right or that she isn't gorgeous, but it is the truth. I believe Bella would not have either - sure there are models with surgery but never anyone with a real noticable plastic face at 18. That is a new Kylie Jenner trend.
     
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  19. dsamg

    dsamg Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that they just have no idea who they want to market to. Most versions have dropped the high fashion Anja/Carine aesthetic that many of us grew up with here and are trying to cater to the influencer-obsessed health conscious Gen Zer. That is a problem because as has been said here, Gen Z do not buy magazines. They don't care about Prada. Vogue has discarded us, the people that want to see editorials that are true art. THAT is a problem because we are the people that actually used to spend a decent amount of money on magazines every month and probably still would if it was worth it.
     
  20. SLFC

    SLFC Active Member

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    Old media is dying, and being replaced by youtubers filming from their bedrooms and smaller more sustainable organizations.
     
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