Glossies had a rough go of it during the first half of this year. Sales for all major fashion titles were down, with the exception of Vogue (up more than 12%) and Allure (flat, which is sort of a victory.)
Vogue’s secret? Putting Lady Gaga on its March cover. That cover alone sold 100,000 copies more than Vogue’s 2010 March cover, WWD is reporting. Reality stars are also newsstand gold. Glamour’s Kim Kardashian cover and People Style Watch’s Lauren Conrad cover were huge sellers, though both those titles’ sales are down overall. And our favorite blonde girl-next-door-types? Glenda Bailey, Harper Bazaar’s EIC told WWD, “It would be a lot easier if we could feature proven sellers like Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover every month.” No one mentioned Sarah Jessica Parker, surprisingly, who is still getting quite a bit of play on covers.
And the cover stinkers? Poor Reese Witherspoon was responsible for dismal months for both Vogue and People Style Watch. Joanna Coles at Marie Claire experimented with putting ensemble groups on the cover, with lousy results. The cover featuring Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish sold particularly poorly, prompting Coles to rethink putting a guy on a lady mag. (Do we go to these mags to escape the opposite sex? Apparently girls don’t want boys stinking up their fashion mag covers.)
InStyle, thanks to their blend of celebrity, high fashion, and accessibility for every woman, still leads the pack at the newsstand (selling an average of 570,000 copies per month compared to Vogue’s 360,000), though sales were down eight percent. Glamour had a particularly bad half year, with sales down 17.5 percent, and Lucky is still having a hard time gaining a foothold, down 9 percent.
Why do you suppose people aren’t buying magazines? And will some brave EIC attempt the outrageous and put an actual model on a cover?