What’s the Point of a Fashion Magazine Now?

Condé Nast, the publisher of titles including Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, said subscriptions for American magazines were up 85 percent for March 2020 versus March 2019. (Recently the company has offered free digital access for people in France, Britain, Italy and Spain.) What proportion of those subscriptions were print versus digital was not made available by the company, nor was data from previous years. Condé Nast also said they received a 35 percent boost in weekly average digital readership in markets that included the United States and India. Hearst Magazines said their sites attracted 33 percent more readers, compared with last year.

Increases in readership don’t offset advertising downturns. “More eyeballs are only valuable if you are able to monetize them,” said Mr. McCabe, the analyst.

Anna Wintour, the industry’s most powerful figurehead, has been rallying the fashion industry behind initiatives like the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for Covid-19, which will provide financial support for designers and manufacturers affected by the pandemic.

“This is an extraordinarily challenging time for so many,” she said.

As the editor of American Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, Ms. Wintour said she has “been engaged in near-constant discussions about how to think creatively and conscientiously about our content at a time of crisis.”

And Wolfgang Blau, the global chief operating officer of Condé Nast, acknowledged that navigating the economic climate as a magazine publisher has been daunting. But, he added, there was cause for optimism.

“I don’t think a lot of our creative output around fashion is pure escapism,” Mr. Blau said. “Like music or art, fashion that also acknowledges its outside context can also produce a sense of connectedness and belonging — something that becomes increasingly important as people start thinking about identity while cooped up in their homes.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/fashion/magazines-coronavirus.html

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