Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
Last night, after a long drive from Washington, DC–where I was visiting my friend Robin Givhan–and just prior to the start of the big rain storm, I went shopping for groceries with another friend at Trader Joe’s new mammoth store on 6th Avenue and 21st Street. On the way back, we stopped by Universal News. On the floor and wall near the entrance were the new coveted September issues, each fighting for attention.
Size is what really matters for all magazines. Because the marketing budgets are usually bigger in the fall than in the spring, these September issues indicate not only of the health of any particular publications, but the direction of print media. On the whole, this September is a giant step forward from September ’09, when GDP was still in the negatives with no end in sight. Now, it’s hard to call it a recovery, as shoppers are still worried about spending on big items. Many luxury brands still depend on margins from China to supplement deficits elsewhere.
This season, I sense that fashion brands have become fiercely competitive, despite the weak economic outlook. Advertisers are spending again. From the perspective of a small and independent magazine, I can say that glossies, indies, and online publications all are relevant in different ways, which means advertisers need to reach their audience through every avenue.
But back to the glossies. “That’s a lot of looks,” my friend pointed to the Harper’s Bazaar September issue, which boasts 937 New Looks on one of its Jennifer Aniston covers. “True, but fashion is about choices and I think they’re trying to convey to readers the breadth of what exists each season,” I told her.
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