Fashion Magazines in the Age of New Technologies


We occasionally hear about magazines – and not just fashion-related magazines – increasing their expenditure on online activities and cooperation with technology firms, ousting their printed circulation. More and more often, journalists and graphic artists from traditional magazines have to take on the role of social media content creators. However, fashion magazines such as Vogue, are still doing pretty well and technology firms, such as Net-a-Porter, publish their own traditional paper editions. The fundamental questions are these:

What is the future of the fashion press and how will fashion media develop in the coming months?

Certainly this is the case if we are talking about periodicals like the legendary American magazine Vogue. In 1988, when Anna Wintour took over as the editor-in-chief, the monthly circulation was 1.2 million. By following the statistics on Vogue’s activities since then, we can see that the magazine’s circulation has remained more or less the same for years: in 2012, it was 1.3 million, and in 2015, it was 1.2 million. However, we have to keep in mind that the degree of globalization in 1988 was lower than in 2016, given, for instance, the fact that since the ’90s Vogue has also been available in the post-communist states.

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Who Are the Online and Traditional Readers?

Analyzing the American Vogue for my MA thesis in 2013, I’ve assumed that an online reader is worse educated and poorer – since they cannot afford the magazine, they look for information on the Internet. This hypothesis has proved both wrong and right. Wrong – because it’s turned out that, according to the statistical data, an average reader of was older till 2014 (now it’s younger), as well as better educated, and earns more than an average reader of Vogue. Interestingly, many of the users are men. However, if that is so – and Vogue is one of the most important fashion magazines – then why won’t they just shut it down and focus on their website and mobile applications? Here’s Vogue demographic profile, based on Media Kits:

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