Fashion Magazines Face Toughest Times Yet
January 26, 2017
As Conde Nast looks set to announce consolidation of its publishing division following similar changes at Hearst Magazines last year, other, smaller players in the sector have better news. New York-based niche magazine, Paper, just celebrated its 32nd successful year in print. Meanwhile, in Munich, Germany, Platea, an independent art and fashion magazine, rejoiced its snowballing readership. The quarterly magazine targeted at young creatives has been in business for less than two years and already garnered a loyal audience within Europe. Likewise, The Gentlewoman, a magazine based in London aimed at intellectual women with “style and purpose,” has been growing exponentially throughout a seven year run.
Vestoj, Dazed and Confused, Love, Kinfolk, V, Interview, and System are independent magazines, some names less familiar than others, enjoying growing success while their mainstream counterparts such as Instyle, Glamour and Cosmopolitan have shown a consistent drop in circulation. At a time when print is seemingly waning with many titles now transitioning to digital-only, the success of mainly fashion-based indie magazines seems puzzling. Yet, a quick look through any of them reveals one simple ingredient: contemporary voices and a deeper connection with the audience. The content and design appeals to those attracted by new, avant-garde inspiration and is unfettered by fashion advertising behemoths. This is not to say though, that fashion brands are not on board. Many are lining up for space in the most influential spots and the kudos of appearing alongside raw, emerging talent.
“Niche and indie magazines are very in touch with their audience, they tend to be lean mean fighting machines, often run by a single person who can nimbly engage with their audience far more easily than a mainstream magazine that’s often weighed down by too many people involved in the decision making & production process,” James Hyman told observer.com. Hyman is founder of The Hyman Archive in London, “the world’s largest collection of magazines.”