Newsstand sales and ad pages are down pretty much across the board for monthly fashion magazines. In times like these, women aren't spending as much money on magazines in stores as they used to, and they aren't spending as much money on the fashion the magazines plug, either. Indeed, plugging outfits that each cost more than a year (or two or three) of college tuition isn't what most women want shoved gallantly in their faces in These Economic Times (but has it ever been, really?). So in this year's September issues, many fashion monthlies pushed frugal finds to woo readers. Both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue pushed "stylish steals" on their September covers in an attempt to stay relevant.
But their efforts don't stop there: Many lady magazines are looking for reality-TV shows to either sponsor or essentially star in. Elle was the first to do this, with Project Runway (which is now sponsored by Marie Claire), when it premiered six seasons ago on Bravo. "All editors are spending a lot of time thinking about television because it's one way of making the magazine stay relevant," Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles tells AdWeek. "When everybody's clamoring for newsstand attention, anything that brings the brand to people's attention is helpful." This is probably why Anna Wintour is stepping so much into the public eye lately, with the release of R.J. Cutler's Vogue documentary, The September Issue — instead of reality television, Vogue chose the big screen. Marie Claire sold more single-copy issues after its reality show Running With Heels premiered on the Style network.
However, reality TV doesn't always work out: Elle's Stylista competition reality show — in which intolerable contestants vied for an internship at the magazine and a sizable H&M gift card flopped — won't return for a second season. The magazine has since taken in Olivia Palermo on a PR-assistant sort of role, and she'll appear on second season of The City, which we already know is a much better show than Stylista. Harper's Bazaar is also trying to get its "Fabulous at Every Age" feature on television in some capacity. And surely Project Runway's record season-six premiere suggests the nation's appetite for fashion reality television remains far from satiated.
But maybe the real problem with fashion magazines these days is not a lack of visibility in the realty-television arena, but a lack of content that readers can truly use. Sure, they can do features on finds for under $500, but most women might get more out of a feature about items under, say, $200. Also, the magazines might consider images of women who don't already look emaciated in real life, only to have their kneecaps erased, noses de-crooked, and thighs slimmed in Photoshop. You know, things the everyday women can relate to. Maybe that's why reality TV is so popular. The events might be 99 percent staged, but the people on them mostly aren't wearing $2,000 pencil skirts and avoiding pasta as though it were a toxic substance.
The Delicate Balance [AdWeek]
Most Viewed Stories
Here’s the Official List of Speakers for the Women’s March on Washington
This Conspiracy Theory Will Change How You Feel About the Bachelor Villain
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
Your Guide to Peeing During the Women’s March on Washington
Bernie Sanders Reviews the Balenciaga Men’s Collection
Sexual Assault in the Amazon
Inauguration Committee Chairman Says Kanye West Wasn’t Invited to Perform Because It’s a ‘Typically and Traditionally American’ Event
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
Feeling Anxious on Inauguration Day? These Art Museums Are Offering Refuge
From Our Partners
The Fashion Spot
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutSerena Williams Tells Reporter to Apologize After Criticizing Her Winning Performance
“That wasn’t very kind. You should apologize.”There’s New Reason to Be Worried That Trump Will Slash Funding to Violence Against Women Programs
The Department of Justice currently administers 25 grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act.Aughts Prom Favorite BCBG Is Closing Stores and Restructuring
The decline and fall of the American mall continues apace.Busy Phillips on Margaritas, Skin Care, and Getting Ready for Awards Shows
“I need some guacamole in my life.”What Abortion in America Looks Like Right Now
Seven stories about a pro-choice movement under attack.Ivanka Trump Says Talk of Her Taking On First-Lady Duties Is ‘Inappropriate’
“There’s one First Lady, and she’ll do remarkable things.”How I Get It Done: Miko Branch, Co-Founder of Curly Hair-Care Product Line Miss Jessie’s
On keeping her office organized, deciding to take time out for herself, and why she still works in the salon.Johnny Depp Finds Redemption at the People’s Choice Awards
After domestic-violence allegations, the actor won the Favorite Movie Icon award.See All the Red-Carpet Looks From the People’s Choice Awards
All the fan-favorite stars gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.How Long Until Someone Breaks a Priceless Piece of Art During the Met Museum Workout?
A new form of fitness.
This is what happens when two logos love each other very much.Preview a Beloved New York Art Gallery’s First Show in Its Airy New Location
Victoria Munroe Fine Art has reopened in a townhouse, the perfect spot for viewing 19th-century architectural drawings and a flock of rare birds.Can Learning How to Coupon Save Me Money?
There’s more to discount shopping than binders full of newspaper clippings.Artists Are Illustrating the Donald Trump Resistance in This Tabloid Paper
Resist! aims to capture the sentiment of a specific slice of postelection America.Copenhagen: The Land of Fairy Tales and Berry Tarts
Raspberry cake included.25 Famous Women on How Getting Fired Makes You Stronger
Lessons from Joan Rivers, Kerry Washington, Hari Nef, and more.This Queer Dance Party Outside Mike Pence’s House Looks Way More Fun Than Trump’s Inauguration
It's shaping up to be the most exciting event of inauguration weekend.The Vagina-Appreciation School Behind Ariana Grande’s Mysterious Instagram
Meet Mama Gena.One of Donald Trump’s Accusers Is Bringing a Train Car Full of Marchers to Washington
They’re calling it “Cathy’s Car.”Here’s How to Get Out of Your Winter-Wardrobe Rut
You don’t have to spend a lot to make your outfits feel fresh again.