Fashion magazines were once groundbreaking. They fed the readers something different. It reviewed fashion shows with honest opinions, covered where to find the latest clothes, and offered new takes on outfits. The fashion magazine was the staple tool in every fashionistas life. Stylists always traveled with the latest Vogue issue. Fashion collectors were taking these works of art and keeping them for the long haul. Fashion movies fantasized about the fashion publishing industry. However, all these fantasies were erased when these magazines stopped doing the one thing they were meant to do: Inspire.
Now, we are in a time where the fashion industry is changing. If publications choose to go back to their roots, we will begin to see the rebirth of the fashion magazine. A tool now seen as being more influenced by profits can revert to being essential.
Past Failures of the Fashion Magazine
The fashion magazine is a section of fashion that was dying. In 2017, Conde Nast lost 120 million dollars. These magazines use to a be staple tool for any fashion professional. Fashion enthusiasts purchased them for the editorials, or in support of the cover photographer or model. Regular women purchased them to inspire outfits for their daily wardrobe. The threat of the “digital” world does not truly exist because a fashion magazine is something that isn’t just consumed for articles. It’s a tool. What exactly is the downfall of this industry? The answer is the fashion magazine is failing because of the fashion magazine.
Fashion magazines are not producing good editorials. The rise of America’s obsession with celebrities is where you start to see them curve away from creative editorials and into celebrity reliance. Therefore, the covers became more important, while the inside quality was abandoned. What happens when the shift in “celebrity obsession” stops? The downfall of the fashion magazine.
“Fashion is always best when it is viewed and treated as art.”
It was once a staple because of the inspiration it imposed on the reader. Fashion magazines turned themselves into an advertisement for the latest clothes and luxury companies. Publishing, in general, relies on advertisements for the majority of its revenue. However, publishing should never rely solely on advertising. That is now what most fashion magazines do, as a result of trying to keep their doors open. Print advertisement is on a decline because of the more effective advertisement done digitally. This makes fashion magazines more desperate for revenue. The solution is simply reverting to good content.
Fashion magazines turned themselves into a boring reflection of the reality in the fashion industry. As brand after a brand fed into trying to sell something instead of inspiring their viewers through clothes. Fashion is always best when it is viewed and treated as art. Fashion magazines, like Vogue, were supposed to hold that standard. They are no longer successful.
The only thing constant in fashion right now is news.
The fashion industry is undergoing enormous changes. Fashion brands are closing their doors, while fashion shows are being canceled. The push for magazines to be more creative and more inspiring is happening. Fashion magazines are in a unique space. They are in jeopardy of closing their doors, but if they play their cards right they can come out on top. Fashion enthusiasts and professionals are grasping for the fashion experience they know, referring back to the fashion magazine they love. Offering fashion magazines the space to go back to being the backbone of the industry. The only thing constant in fashion right now is news. Now, all we need is an inspiration.
Written by: Corinea L. Austin
Corinea is an Atlanta based fashion business owner and voice. She is a graduate of SCAD with a background in fashion, costume design and business management. With insight spanning into the textile industry, she can be found on all social media under @cocorinea