menu

Will Future Fashion Magazines Just Be Retail Blogs?

Will Future Fashion Magazines Just Be Retail Blogs?
Advertising

What does it mean for traditional media that so many big name brands are poaching talented writers?

Laura Feinstein
  • 4 january 2013

With the magazine world slowly imploding upon itself, a new trend has emerged that will most definitely be gaining momentum in the New Year: talented fashion and culture writers leaving big name magazines to embrace retail and fashion brands directly. Making the switch to retail start-ups and blogs, you can expect to see this flood of editors, writers, and digital editorial assistants lending their voice to branded social media channels, refining overall editorial content, and leading the charge of a new era. As Fashionista recently wrote, there seems to be a game of musical chairs going on, with magazines at the losing end. One of the most notable departures this past year was Faran Krentcil, who helped create the tone for NYLON Magazine’s digital efforts, while also putting nylonmag.com on the map and exploding its international readership. She recently left for Clarins’ Beauty Flash blog and Shopbop’s blog (respectively). However, the list could go on.

While the above came as somewhat of a shock for long-time fans, the practice of recruiting writers with a strong editorial background for positions at digital start-ups is nothing new. At Gilt Groupe, Editorial Director Melissa Liebling- Goldberg comes from a magazine editorial background at People Magazine, and Ideeli Editorial Director Ariana Speyer has spent time at both Interview Magazine and the now defunct Domino. Marie Claire’s Taylor Tomasi Hill has also been part of this new wave, as she recently made the switch from the revered lady mag to working at buzzy retail platform Moda Operandi. To show just how high up this trend goes, Lucy Yeomans of Harper’s Bazaar UK recently left her famous and career-making position as EIC, for a relatively similar digital position at Net-A-Porter. She wasn’t alone though, Harper’s Anamaria Wilson, the Fashion Features Director at Harper’s Bazaar, also left to join Michael Kors as Vice President of global corporate communications. While leaving a position for a higher paying role is nothing new, what makes all of these transitions so notable is the rapid frequency of them, especially from editorial to retail, with a heavy emphasis on digital. Also, more interestingly, that younger writers like Kretcil are looking to make their careers in digital retail, rather than through traditional means like working their way up the ranks at magazines.

For those shaking their heads that someone would give up a position in traditional media for the relatively uncharted waters of digital retail, Kretcil recently said this during an interview with Fashionista:

[I]t’s less of a jump than people would expect. The reality is that, frankly, a consumer magazine is a brand–there are ethics involved, of course, but there are also ethics involved in a regular brand…I think that as barriers come down and the industry becomes more transparent, and people really start understanding that magazines function as brands, it’s going to become more acceptable for people to get their news from brands.

urban-outfitters-blog

Meanwhile brand-extension blogs, which a few years ago were seen as uncharted territory, are now mainstays of the business. Leading the pack, Urban Outfitters’ blog was one of the first on the scene after poaching key players from NYLON, who has over the years used their leverage and capital to bring on some of the best names in art and fashion, as well as collaborations and guest columnists ranging from Sea of Shoes to Vice Magazine alumni. What’s made their blog so popular though is that they consistently create quality original content, something sadly lacking in many magazines today– both online and off.

Now that the word is out on the marketing effectiveness and reach of brand blogs, other retail outlets have flocked to the table. Most successful has been J.Crew/ Madewell (which now boasts New York Mag’s Jenny Kang and GQ’s Sean Hotchkiss as part of their editorial staff), Warby Parker, ASOS, Opening Ceremony, up and comers Assembly NY, and most recently Aritzia, whose blog is headed by Editor-in-Chief Luke Crisell, former Executive Editor of Nylon Magazine. In the coming year, Aritzia is promising they “will merge editorial and commerce, providing an integrated, modern platform for amazing content, social and shopping.”As part of their overall editorial and outreach strategy, the brand recently turned their Instagram channel over to influential user Liz Eswein for an “Instagram Takeover” (a common new practice in which a brand relinquishes control of their Instagram account to a popular tastemaker, an incredibly savvy move seeing as how many of these users have upwards of 12K followers) where viewers were offered the chance to see the city “through the eyes of personal style blogger Helena Glazer of Brooklyn Blonde…and Lucky Magazine Digital Editor and Textbook blogger John Jannuzzi.

Currently the line between naked retail and magazines has already become so hazy, it makes sense that the two would eventually join forces. As the digital revolution heats up and more magazines move to digital, we’ll also be seeing a lot more writers leave their high status (but lower-paying) traditional editorial gigs for the relative comfort and stability of digital blogs. The upside is that with the financial backing of the brand, they may be able to have more creative freedom and the power to truly innovate again (think full videos, funding artists for mini branded magazines, and perhaps even podcasts and online TV shows). While it will be sad to see many of these long-running magazines lose so many talented writers, the only way to keep a good writer creating fresh, original content is to offer more money, something that seems to be impossible for these struggling titles.

Our prediction? As personal style bloggers gain more and more followers for their “unbiased views on fashion and retail”, the average readership will move towards their sites, rather than to big name magazines who often have their own sales interests in mind. Meanwhile, straightforward retail blogs will pick at traditional magazine’s readership from the other end of the spectrum.

Our advice for magazines? They need to find a way to bridge the retail/editorial gap, which will allow them to invest more in quality original content and highly skilled writers. Because if they can’t, they just might be the ones reading the help wanted ads.

Trending

Bicycle Hotel In Norway Makes Commuting A Breeze

Design & Architecture
Technology Today

Umbrella Tells You Whether It's Needed Before You Go Out

Opus One was designed by former Samsung engineers and offers a weather forecast via the flashing LED on top

Sustainability Today

Biocomposite Skateboard Provides An Eco-Friendly Ride

The Uitto is an eco-friendly skate deck crafted from Norwegian wood fibers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Work Today

Hyatt Honors Travelers With A 3D-Printed Statue Contest

The hospitality wanted to celebrate the people who go everywhere for work and make sure their tasks were not forgotten

Syndicated Today

High-Tech Replica Brings Prehistoric Art Within Reach

A £48m recreation of the Lascaux Caves in France will let visitors experience the unique place for the first time in decades

Related Expert

Tristan Pollock

Temporary Retail Expert

Entertainment Today

Tripod Lets You Make Snapchat Videos Hands-Free

The Camkix kit lets you record wirelessly from any angle

IoT Today

GE Develops An Alexa-Enabled Table Lamp

The first in a line of interconnected home products will integrate Amazon's voice-activated system for smarter home living

Advertising Today

Spotify Mines User Data To Create A Global Ad Campaign

The series of billboards relays the feelings that people express through listening to music

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Commerce Expert: Why Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Can’t Be Replaced

Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Today

What Material Research In Beirut Bodes For Our Waste Crisis

Might building furniture and lights out of rose petals and coffee grounds point to more sustainable modes of living, as seen in Beirut Design Week?

Social Media Today

This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer

Retail Today

Basquiat-Inspired Fashion Line Supports Emerging Talent

The late artist's estate has collaborated with New York label alice+olivia on a new range of designs

Retail Today

Why Personalization Is The Key To Customer Satisfaction

Andrew Blackmon of The Black Tux shares how the company is using machine-learning models to streamline the fitting process

Gaming & Play Today

Fidgeting Tools Designed To Help Creative Minds Focus

The DIDGETS Collection helps those who have anxiety or are restlessly moving to focus while they are working

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Children Today

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people

Home Today

Sharing Service Connects Directors With Film Locations

Finding affordable places to film can be difficult, so GETset was designed to help creators easily find good locations

Technology Today

Adobe Is Teaching Machines To Copy Your Artistic Style

A new research project called Stylit uses a camera to mimic a drawing and reproduce the strokes digitally

No search results found.