How Will Chinese Fashionistas Take to CR Fashion Book Launching in China?

What Happened: The print fashion magazine CR Fashion Book will launch a Chinese language edition in partnership with the Beijing Koala Media Group this fall, with an initial print run of 25,000 copies, as reported by WWD. In addition to carrying fashion editorials from the mothership, the China version will feature locally produced content, including covers featuring Chinese celebrities.

The founder and creative director of the bi-annual magazine, Carine Roitfeld, who was also the former editor in chief of Vogue Paris, told WWD that the title’s next-step in China is part of the continuing international expansion. And the fashion veteran described diversity and inclusion as a “baseline” rather than a “trend.” The new appointment of Lynette Nylander as CR Fashion Book’s co-creative director and editorial director at large also aligned with the magazine’s dedication to driving greater racial inclusivity and embracing cultural diversity.

The Jing Take: Global fashion publishing companies were already facing a challenging period before COVID-19. Since then, it’s only gotten worse, with declining readership and ad sales and publications scrambling for new growth opportunities. And China is on their bucket list, given the country’s ever-shifting digital landscape, promising luxury spending, as well as luxury brands’ relatively generous budgets for the market.

Though CR Fashion Book, unlike fashion media outlets like Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, is not a household name for the general Chinese magazine reader, many fashionistas who are familiar with the title’s bold personality have shown strong interest in the upcoming China version. However, as sales of print magazines in China are predominantly driven by the idol economy, fashion publications frequently focus on overwhelming coverage of idols and celebrities who own large social followings. While celebrity coverage is an effective approach for a newcomer to gain awareness among Chinese readers, CR Fashion Book will have to walk a fine line between the avant-garde fashion spreads that the magazine is known and covering China’s idol ecosphere while also keeping abreast of China’s unique digital ecosystem in.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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