It's been nearly 20 years since Condé Nast International debuted its first Vogue edition in Eastern Europe with Vogue Russia in 1998 and it has only introduced one other regional property — Vogue Ukraine in 2013 — since. Four years later, the media conglomerate is once again turning its attention to the area: Condé Nast announced on Tuesday that it will launch Vogue Poland, based out of Warsaw, in the first half of next year.
This time, Condé Nast is doing things a bit differently than its launch of Vogue Arabia, Vogue's first property in the Middle East, which debuted first with a bilingual Arabic-English website last fall. Per a press release, the Polish edition of Vogue will debut digitally and in print simultaneously. Vogue Poland will be published under a licensing agreement in partnership with new media venture Visteria.
"Poland is a thriving market in Eastern Europe, with a growing hunger for luxury. It's a natural for Vogue," said Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and Chief Executive of Condé Nast International, in a release.
Filip Niedenthal, who most recently helped launch Esquire Poland, will head up the publication as editor-in-chief. He joins Condé Nast International having worked as the executive fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar Polska, as well as editor-in-chief of travel magazine Podróże. He’ll be joined by Polish model Malgosia Bela as Vogue Poland's editor-at-large and Kasia Kulczyk, chairperson and founder of Visteria.
"It's clear there is a strong demand for a magazine that inspires and empowers Polish women, as well as promoting Polish talent internationally — not only in fashion, but in the arts, film, culture and other fields," said Kulczyk. "Always keeping in mind the needs and expectations of our ambitious, career-driven readers, we will offer inspiring content with a reach unparalleled by any other Polish medium."
Karina Dobrotvorskaya, president of Condé Nast new markets and editorial director of brand development, told Business of Fashion that the media conglomerate has been eyeing the Polish market for a few years now, saying that this timing felt right due to the recent development of Poland's high-end fashion market. Indeed, the country's luxury economy is on the upswing: Professional service company KPMG values the local market at 2.2 billion Zloty (about $584 million), per BoF, and predicts that it will increase an additional 28 percent by 2020.
There's also the so-called "Demna Gvasalia Effect," which has popularized a certain Eastern European aesthetic — and allowed for the success of regional designers, including Moscow's Gosha Rubchinskiy — throughout the greater industry. If there's a time to invest in the region, it's now, and Polish readers specifically have much to offer the Vogue franchise. It's been a long time coming.