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Fashion - Stephanie

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

Fashion Magazines


The growth of the new media industry has signaled an array of changes for the magazine industry. Although at first the expansion of the internet seemed detrimental to the print industry, as with the development of the web in the late 1990s magazine launches began to stifle and circulation dipped. The two forms of media have now learned ways to co-exist together and many magazines are now embracing this new form as and accompaniment to the print version. The fashion sector of the magazine industry is at the forefront of these changes, and many magazines now have online versions of their print magazine which is in altering the way the fashion magazine industry generates readership, advertisers and extra finance. To establish the ways in which fashion magazines are using new media forms I have looked at the websites for both some of the most popular and niche print fashion magazines, and assessed their content and design style.





  • Website: www.style.com
  • Website for UK Edition: www.vogue.co.uk
  • Established 1892 in the USA
  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.com) – Monthly
  • Vogue - 1,260, 316 circulation (2005) - www.magazine.org/circulation
  • British Vogue - 220,084 circulation per issue (Jan – June 07) – www.abc.org.uk
  • Editor in Chief – Anna Wintour
  • Editor of UK edition - Alexandra Shulman
  • Vogue has numerous international editions including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. There are also spin off magazines Men’s Vogue and Teen Vogue.





Vogue magazine is arguably the best known fashion magazine in the world. Madonna paid homage to it in her 1990 song ‘Vogue’. It has even been parodied in the book and film The Devil Wears Prada, and most recently in the television series Ugly Betty. However, as magazine circulation figures have suffered as a result of the new media boom, the magazine has looked increasingly to its website to sustain and increase readership.


The main Vogue websites are the American and British ones, although most of the international editions of the magazine also have their own unique Vogue website. Looking at the British website (www.vogue.com) it is easy to see why Vogue is staying ahead of the competition, as there are many good uses of new media forms on the website. The design of the website is classic and appears to use the same style guide as the magazine. The content includes a brilliant search engine, which allows the user to look through all of the past covers, models, designers and catwalks. The news section is kept very up to date, which is particularly important as fashion is constantly changing. The website contains pretty standard content that you would expect such as news and features, but also has its own Vogue TV which shows regularly updated video’s about the latest fashion news and catwalk shows.


I think that use of the Vogue TV is particularly relevant as not only does the print publication have to deal with the threat of rival magazines but also from television channels such as Fashion TV. Therefore by creating their own TV channel/ video clips, they are keeping the users interest in their website and magazine and pretending them from looking else where for that kind of media content. It’s a clever way of combing the different mediums to keep the audiences attention. The video’s can also be downloaded on to your iPod / MP3 player as pod casts. The only problem with Vogue TV is that it has a design flaw in that you can’t switch it off from the home page or turn the volume down, and so if you don’t want to watch the same video over and over again while browsing the home page, there isn’t much you can do.


Other uses of new media features on the website include competitions, blogs, a forum, and an online clothes shop. The blogs by the fashion experts are regularly updated but don’t allow for comments, which is something that would probably allow greater interactivity if that option was available. However, site users' do get to interact with the content of the website through a blog, and there is an option to subscribe to a daily newsletter which keeps users update with the Vogue even if they don’t regularly check the site. The clothes shop adds another element where the website can make more money by linking trends featured in the magazine and online to clothes that they sell to encourage sales and further profits. You can also buy copies of the print magazine and subscriptions to it online which links the site back the original publication. Overall I think the UK version of online Vogue is up to date with the developments in new media, however, there could be more interactivity with the user, giving them more freedom to comment perhaps on stories and the videos.


In comparison to the US Vogue website, the British site makes greater use of new media to promote the magazine as well as the brand itself. The US Vogue site has recently been merged with the W magazine to form style.com, almost as a separate entity to the print publications rather than a complimentary site to the magazine. The Vogue section of style.com makes better use of forums than its British counterpart, as it is more interactive, separated into sections where as the British forum is more of a comment box. The US Vogue website also features model diaries and a model search, however, I think the content on the British Vogue site is more detailed, up to date and in keeping with the magazine content.





  • Website: www.instylemagazine.co.uk
  • Established 1995

  • Published by IPC Media Ltd (www.ipcmedia.com) - Monthly

  • 178, 699 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk





Instyle is a more consumer orientated in its content than Vogue as it focuses of celebrities and entertainment and high street fashion as opposed to catwalks and haute couture. The website does feature a video section that has features about fashion and advertises beauty products. Some of the videos are up to date while others are quite old and perhaps there could be a separate section for archives. A good feature of the website is that its has a section on the homepage dedicated to what’s in the magazine, promoting the print version to the site users as well as offering a subscription package, as part of the business model. The site also boasts more competitions than rival Vogue and two separate newsletters which allow the user to choose a preference in the updates they receive.


The ‘look of the day’ newsletter is more celebrity orientated, while the second newsletter ‘style insider’ is focused on the fashion industry. The user can choose to sign up to one or the other or both, allowing them to decide the content they receive. The Instyle site is lacking two of new media most prominent features of a forum and blogs but there is a section that encourages user participation as site users can send in there own stories of parties to feature on the website. There is some of evidence of experimenting with new media on the Instyle website, such as with the newsletter and video clips, however, the new media used on the site is not cutting edge and arguably what is featured on the site is standard for most websites.



Glamour UK



  • Website: www.glamourmagazine.co.uk

  • Launched April 2000, originated from American Glamour which was established in 1939 and launched under the name Glamour of Hollywood

  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.co.uk) – Monthly

  • Editor - Jo Elvin






Glamour UK is a pretty comprehensive website in terms of content and look. There are many more features than Instyle and Vogue, however, these features do not all relate to fashion as with the other magazines, as the centre around celebrities, love and relationships and health. The fashion features include daily gossip, trends, a directory and a selection of readers’ favourites. In terms of the use of different forms of new media, Glamour UK is like Vogue UK at the forefront of utilising new media to promote the magazine, interact with readers/users and generate capital. Impressive uses of new media include Glamour TV which features movie trailers, catwalk videos and fashion and celebrity ‘exclusives’.



The website also has a mobile section, where mini editions of the web and print content can be sent to the users’ phone as regular updates. The mobile feature is one of the most recent developments in the way magazines are in interacting with the reader, as it can keep the reader update with magazine, and acts as a good promotional tool for Glamour. There are several blogs about different sections of the online content, which allow users to comment on and there is a comprehensive forum. The website also features a section dedicated to the print edition, discussing the latest issue and once again offering a subscription package to the magazine.





  • Website: http://www.elleuk.com/

  • Established 1945 in France and 1985 in the UK and USA

  • Published by Hachette Filipacchi Ltd (www.hf-uk.com) - Monthly

  • 203,302 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Worlds largest fashion magazine with 39 international editions – (http://www.hfmus.com/HachetteUSA/page.asp?site=elle)

  • UK Editor - Lorraine Candy





Elle UK (www.elle.co.uk) is a well designed web site that is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. While the style is in keeping with the style of the print publication, there is no direct link to the magazine, for example there is no mention of the current print edition or any information about the magazine version. There is an option to purchase a subscription to the magazine online, but that comes as a pop up rather than a permanent link on the home page. The website and magazine seem to work as two separate entities. This type of business model is quite different from the other websites reviewed, where by linking the magazine to the website is part of one the ways to aid advertising and costs. There also isn’t a great deal of new media used to develop the website. However, the use of the fashion video section Elle TV is one of the better online fashion magazine TV channels. There are numerous types of video to look at from catwalk shows for the autumn/winter collections as well as spring/summer, trends, insider interviews, backstage gossip, behind the scenes look at magazine photo shoots etc. Elle TV does not currently feature advertisements from other companies, and acts more of a promotion tool for the website and fashion insiders that feature in the videos.






  • Website: www.cosmopolitan.co.uk

  • UK Edition established in early 1970s

  • Published by The National Magazine Company Ltd (www.natmags.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 450,952 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • UK Editor - Louise Court





Cosmopolitan is more of a women’s lifestyle magazine than fashion magazine, but the content of the print publication does rely heavily on fashion features, typically photo shoots promoting high street clothes ranges. The UK version of the website (www.cosmopolitan.co.uk) has a fashion section which contains polls, blog, links to the forum, latest fashion news, insider tip offs about what is coming to the high street and when and a store finder to help users located the nearest high street shops to them. The new media content on the website is limited, although there are competitions available if you sign up to the site and become a member. The site appears to use advertising to generate most of revenue rather than new media additions.



Vanity Fair


  • Website: www.vanityfair.co.uk / www.vanityfair.com

  • Established 1914

  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 98,190 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • 240,000 readership (http://www.vanityfair.co.uk/MediaPack/)

  • Editor - Graydon Carter





The UK Vanity Fair (www.vanityfair.co.uk) site is a blog rather than a website dedicated to the magazine. The blog is titled the A-list and is updated monthly with what to wear, where to go, where to and what to see etc. There is an option to sign up to weekly newsletter, a link to the media pack and the American website, which acts as the official sit for international editions as well as the US one. The American website (www.vanityfair.com) does not contain any style or fashion information, even though the publication has a substantial amount of fashion content. There is a blog which summaries what’s in the current American publication. There is little use of new media to promote the magazine or that demonstrates the business module of Vanity Fair.





  • Website: www.tatler.co.uk

  • Established 1709 in the UK

  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.com) - Monthly

  • 90,125 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Editor - Geordie Greig





The UK Tatler website offers a link to what is inside the current publication of the magazine and a link to subscription, however there is limited new media features and no fashion content. The website contains the media pack for the magazine which gives an indication of the business model for Tatlers. The website and magazine rely upon advertising revenue and sponsors. There is a link to sponsors such as cosmetic surgeons on the main page of the media pack. Subscriptions are also utilised to generate income for the magazine.



Harper Bazaar UK


  • American Website: www.harpersbazaar.com

  • There is currently no UK website for the British edition Harpers Bazaar

  • Established 1929 in the USA

  • Published by The National Magazine Company Ltd (www.natmags.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 105,834 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Editor - Lucy Yeomans





As there is currently no UK website dedicated to the UK edition of the publication I looked at the US website (www.harpersbazaar.com). As with Glamour, Vogue and Elle the Harpers Bazaar has its own Harpers TV which contains video clips of interview, behind the scenes footage and the latest catwalk shows. The use of having a TV tie in on the website with the magazine appears to be the main trend in the use of new media on fashion magazine website. The rest of the content on the site is in keeping with the magazine content which is primarily fashion led. There are features on styling tips, trends, what is in and out of fashion and a detailed section about what is in the current issues, including the editors’ letter and a table of contents. Again there is another example of a fashion magazine website using the site to advertise the print edition, which is a cheap way to promote magazine and increase circulation.





  • Website: http://www.graziamagazine.co.uk/

  • Established in 1938 in Italy, the UK edition was established 2005

  • Published by EMAP Consumer Media PLC (www.emap.com) - Weekly

  • 220,125 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Editor - Fiona McIntosh






The UK edition of Grazia launched in 2005, and is one of the most popular weekly magazines and the only weekly UK glossy fashion magazine. There is no online edition of the magazine at present, but there is a website that promotes Grazia sponsored events, which is currently a tie in with department store Selfridges promoting designer handbags. The webpage allows for readers to sign up to a new weekly newsletter and offers a free gift when subscribing to the magazine. These features show that Grazia generates money through sponsors in the fashion industry as well as advertising. At present the website does not show any indication of any uses of new media to generate readership or profits.





  • Website: www.getlippy.com / www.company.co.uk

  • Published by The National Magazine Company Ltd (www.natmags.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 264,494 circulation per issue (Jan – Jun 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Readership - 610,000

  • Acting Editor - Claire Irvine





Company is fashion and lifestyle magazine aimed at a young demographic of 18 – 24 year olds. The magazine has a separate website called Get Lippy (www.getlippy.com), which has features on fashion, beauty and celebrities. On the Get Lippy website there is a page dedicated to the print version of Company magazine, which has snippets of the features in the currant issue. There isn’t any information about subscriptions, so the business model here seems to rely on promoting the contents of the print version.





  • Website: www.i-dmagazine.com

  • Myspace: www.myspace.com/idmagazine

  • Established 1980 in UK

  • Published by Levelprint Ltd - Monthly

  • 57,000 circulation per issue (according to Editor in Chief Terry Jones – http://www.smh.com/au/news/Fashion/Silver-anniversary-in-a-wink/2005/03/14/1110649118708.html?from=moreStories). There is no current independent audit on the circulation or readership.

  • Editor - Ben Reardon

  • Editor in Chief - Terry Jones





I-D has been on the cutting edge of the British fashion magazine industry for over 20 years. The independent publication has a cult following and reputation for being at the forefront on street fashion and youth culture. Therefore it is expected to be a forefront in experimenting with new media technologies as a means to promote and finance the magazine. The official website while aesthetically stunning does not appear to offer anything more than any other fashion website. The site does offer snippets of the current print edition and competitions featuring the trademark wink that is used on all of the covers. However, the magazine does capitalise on its unique style as it offers a variety of magazine subscriptions, special editions and i-D books that can be brought online through the website.


In keeping with its connection to youth culture the magazine has utilised one new media form that most traditional fashion magazine have yet to capitalise on, it has its won official myspace page. The use of social networking sites such as myspace, facebook, and bebo is a free way to promote the magazine and particularly beneficial to magazines targeting a younger demographic. The use of myspace et al also helps give a personality and identity to the magazine. The myspace updates with each issue to promote the cover star and the features, there are videos which again advertise the print magazine and a blog. The myspace also allows for fans of the magazine to interact with the magazine through comments and becoming ‘friends’ with the magazine. As more and more magazine look to launch online, I think the use of social networking sites by fashion magazines will continue to rise.




  • Myspace: www.myspace.com/popsuperglossy

  • Established in 2000 in UK by currant editor Kate Grand

  • Published by EMAP (www.emap.com) - Twice yearly

  • 80,000 + circulation (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/aug/28/mondaymediasection.pressandpublishing2)

  • Editor - Kate Grand





Pop is a relatively new fashion magazine that like i-D is aimed at a niche and younger market. It currently does not have a website but does have an official myspace. The myspace is used to keep a blog which keeps fans/readers/web users informed in between issues as the magazine is only published twice yearly. Use of the social networking site it a good way to keep people interested in the magazine e between issues, and makes good business sense as its free promotion.





  • Website: www.flaunt.com

  • Myspace: www.myspace.com/flauntmagazine

  • Established 1998 in USA by current editor-in-chief Luis Barajas and creative director Jim Turner

  • 100,000 circulation (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/CAREER/trends/02/06/flaunt/index.html)

  • Editor in Chief - Luis Barajas

  • Creative Director - Jim Turner




Similar to i-D and Pop, American magazine Flaunt is targeted at a niche audience and this is reflected in the non mainstream website for the magazine. The website does not have a lot of content but again the magazine has a myspace which is linked to through the website and even has its won flikr account where pictures from the magazine are stored and available for browsing. The magazine is also going to cash in on its own brand name in the future, like i-D has with its merchandise section, there are plans for a Flaunt store on the website in winter 2008.





  • Website: www.fruits-mg.com/xnew/e/index.html

  • Established 1997 in Japan by Photographer Shoichi Aoki

  • Cult following – unknown circulation / readership




Fruits is a Japanese fashion magazine that focuses on street style and culture. The content of the website is limited as the content of the magazine is just pictures of street style. There are images to view on the website and issues can be back ordered as well as the availability of subscriptions. There is no evidence of experiments with new media, although the magazine itself does differ from traditional fashion magazines, featuring pictures rather than text.



Gothic Beauty


  • Website: www.gothicbeauty.com

  • Established in 2000 in Portland, Oregon America by husband and wife team Steven and Ruby Holiday

  • Published by founder Steven Holiday

  • 23,000 circulation (www.gothicbeauty.com/seattle-times.pdf)

  • Editor in Chief - Steven Holiday

  • Fashion Editor - Ruby Holiday






Another niche but successful magazine is Gothic Beauty, a specialist fashion magazine about Goth clothing and culture. The website is easy to navigate and features online articles separate to those of the print version. There is a forum, a link to buy back issues and detailed media information. The trend of fashion magazines investing in merchandising their own brand is evident as there is a store which sells Gothic Beauty T-Shirts, Calendars and Gift Packs’ which include copies of the magazine. Marketing the brand name as a commodity as well as the magazine is one way in which the online fashion magazine industry is changing and moving with the growth of new media technologies.




  • Website: www.fashionmagazine.com/

  • Established in 1977 in Toronto, Canada

  • Published by St Joseph Media (www.stjosephmedia.com/)

  • 150, 000 circulation / 1,900,000 readership in 2007(

  • Editor in Chief - Ceri Marsh




Fashion magazine falls in line with the more traditional fashion magazines like Vogue and Elle when it comes to the website, which is easy to navigate and well designed. The site does not push the boundaries in terms of use of new media, but does offer a choice in its weekly newsletter, and interactive features such as online votes and competitions.





  • Website / Blog: www.missbehavemag.com/

  • Established in 2006 by Samantha Moeller

  • Published by Adrian Moeller - Quarterly

  • 100,000 estimated circulation (www.foliomag.com/viewmedia.asp?prmMID=5482)

  • Editor in Chief - Mary Choi





Missbehave is a Brooklyn, New York based magazine that offers a tongue in cheek look at youth and street fashion and culture. Only launched a year ago the magazine has carved out a niche in the market and has a very high estimated circulation. The website is a blog that is updated regularly, Use of blogging by writers of the magazines is another trend of use of new media in online fashion magazines, as again these can be free to set up and provide a cheap source of advertising/promotion for the magazine, and by linking to subscriptions of the magazine, blogs can provide another way to increase profits. There is another use of new media to note, as flash is used to allow the user to ‘peek’ through the current issues content in an interactive flash linked into the blog. Such a feature invites the site user to look into the contents which could encourage a sale.



Men’s Fashion Magazines




  • Website / Blog: www.arenamagazine.co.uk

  • Established in 1986 by Nick Logan

  • Published by EMAP Consumer Media PLC (www.emap.com) - Monthly

  • 30,886 circulation per issue (Jan – June 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Editor - Giles Hattersley





Arena is a Men’s magazine that has a bi-annual spin off fashion magazine called Arena Homme+. Currently there is no ABC data for Arena Homme+ or official website, so I looked at the original Arena website to see how men’s fashion and lifestyle magazines are adapting new media techniques to promote the magazines. The Arena website is effectively a blog divided into sections that feature in the magazine, including a style section. By having a blog instead of traditional website, the regular contributors from the magazine can keep readers updated and allows for feedback from consumers, which is effectively another way of gathering market research about what the readers want to see in the magazine content. Blogs can also be easier to navigate than some websites and they still provide space for advertising so can still generate money whilst being low in cost to produce.





  • Website: www.gq-magazine.co.uk
  • Established 1957 in the USA

  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 127,886 circulation per issue (Jan – June 07) – www.abc.org.uk

  • Editor of GQ.com - Camilla McPhie

  • Editor of UK print edition – Dylan Jones





GQ is touted as the more up market men’s magazine, and the website is sophisticate din it style, and layout. The content is very detailed and there is a variety of new media features on the website. There is a separate fashion and style page, which contains videos of men’s fashion shows and sections on trends. The video section and GQ TV from the men’s site feature a vast amount of videos of fashion shows, interviews, features and film trailers. GQ has utilised the development on online magazine TV channels to increase advertising as before the videos there are adverts for products, providing another source of income for the website and magazine along with the advertising banners that are typically used.



Men’s Vogue


  • Website: www.mensvogue.com/

  • Established September 2005 in USA

  • Published by Conde Nast (www.condenast.co.uk) - Monthly

  • 325,000 circulation September 2007 (www.condenastmediakit.com/mvg/circulation.cfm)

  • Editor in Chief - Jay Fielden






Men’s Vogue is a relatively new publication only launching in 2005, but still boasts an impressive website that features video clips, slide shows, forums and blogs. The video clips are links rather than a website channel, like the one at British Vogue. The fashion content is less than that of rival QG, but there is a selection of fashion articles and slideshows in the fashion and clothing section of the website. There are no new or different forms of new media used to generate revenue other than those already discussed in the reviews of both the Women’s and Men’s fashion magazines.




By reviewing a selection of fashion magazines online a trend has emerged regarding the new media which is being used to generate more money for these publications. The following elements of new media are now being used and explored by most fashion magazines to gather extra capital:-



  • TV

  • Mobile Content

  • Social Networking Sites

  • Subscriptions

  • Merchandise

  • Blogs



These forms of new media are aiding sales of magazines in an age where the people are moving towards the Internet for information, entertainment and fashion. By incorporating the latest media technologies onto the magazine websites, the magazine industry is keeping up with their readers and ahead of competition that relies solely upon the print publication. The manipulation of the new media is also important for the financing of magazines, as print magazines cost a lot to make and depend upon advertising space and product placement to fund each issue. The websites aid the business of magazines, providing extra funds and potential additional profits. Such a way in which new media is being used to generate profits is the launches of online shops and merchandise for the magazines. By selling the magazine as a brand name, money can be made not only from subscriptions but also special one off editions, mugs, posters, t-shirts etc. Of course such products could also be sold through the magazine, but as the numbers of people shopping online is constantly increasing more companies look to the internet to make money. Online shopping has increased 33% in 2005 according to American statistics (http://www.shopathome.com/PressKit/OnlineShoppingStatistics.aspx).
Subscriptions are another way to generate revenue and to increase circulation of the print magazine. Nearly all of the online magazine websites had the option for subscription deals. As while print magazines may lack the interactivity of the internet, it is unlikely that will completely disappear as readers can go back to magazines rime and time again, while internet content is ever changing and unless the website has an archive readers won’t always be able to review their favourite article/interview/video. Free self-promotion is another change in the fashion magazine industry; most of the magazines reviewed demonstrated this through setting up blogs and joining social networking sites. Through blogs magazines can provide another space for advertising to collect more money whilst not investing a lot in up keeping the blog, which are cheaper and easy to maintain than websites. The same applies to social networking sites, where by the magazine can promote itself to its targeted demographics for free. Finally the most cutting edge technology being incorporated by the fashion magazine industry is mobile and TV content. Again this helps to promote the brand directly to the readers in the case of mobile content at least. While TV content and pod casts provide another space where advertising can be bought from other companies. The shifts in fashion magazines show that the new media developments are being embraced and utilised and the print industry is keeping up with these changes.

  • http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-08-24-mens-vogue_x.htm - Article about the launch of Men’s Vogue
  • http://www.fuk.co.uk/blog/marian - Fashion Blog
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2000/feb/14/mondaymediasection.pressandpublishing1 - Guardian feature about circulation figures




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