Dhe fashion series looks like you would imagine an international fashion series: arranged, draped, retouched. Maybe that’s why the pictures seem out of place. Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of the British “Vogue”, produced the photo series, and his colleagues from other European “Vogue” editions can now add it to the magazine. So the pictures have also slipped into the German “Vogue”. Nice. But what are you doing in a German fashion magazine?
The Condé-Nast-Verlag, which publishes the fashion magazine in many national editions, has to save. So it’s better to publish an elaborate fashion series in a dozen issues than just one. The American rival publisher Hearst pioneered it, and once a year they put a series of photos into many international editions of “Harper’s Bazaar” – following the business model of founder William Randolph Hearst, who began marketing comic strips for daily newspapers in 1895 and thus invented the system of syndication, the multiple use of media content.
Why shouldn’t that also apply today? 17 country issues of the men’s magazine “GQ” with the same title have just been published. The Weeknd adorns the cover. The “Global Editorial Director” Will Welch, a nice, intelligent and good-looking American, greets from the editorial of the German edition. But does it also address men in Pinneberg and Rosenheim? Or is the Condé-Nast-Verlag concentrating anyway only on trendy districts such as Berlin-Mitte and Munich’s Glockenbachviertel in the face of dwindling circulation?
“Looks like American cultural imperialism”
Such austerity programs are considered a panacea by battered magazine publishers. “Growing pressure on advertising revenues and decreasing circulation are increasingly burdening the magazine makers’ profit margins,” writes the specialist service “Meedia” about the luxury magazines. The syndication saves a lot of money: the Munich fashion editor no longer has to fly to Paris or Los Angeles to research his own articles, he simply translates the stories of his big American brother into German. At the prêt-à-porter in Paris, which ended this week, there was no longer a German “Vogue” editor to be seen. In the first row, editors-in-chief from other publishers also got excited about the Condé Nast strategy: “It looks like American cultural imperialism.”
The problem with it: The product looks ready-made, the imagery is arbitrary, not to mention the editorial content. This weakness of the lifestyle publishers gives rise to completely new opportunities for two other types of magazines: for the supplements of the major newspapers such as “How to spend it” from the “Financial Times” or for the FAZ magazine; and for independent small magazines such as “032c” or “Achtung Mode”, which was founded almost 20 years ago, took the upswing in the luxury market with it and this autumn appeared again in such a big issue as if there had never been a pandemic.