The Fashion Media Paradox

D&G's "Swide magazine" keeps readers up to date on recent collectons and a range of lifestyle stories

It’s a known fact that the only way for print media survive is to secure as much advertising as possible at the highest price possible. This is true not only for the tons of free newspapers that we get every morning on our way to the office (what a waste), but it’s also true for the expensive glossy magazines.

As such, I was a little surprised when I was told by a fashion journalist at one of Hong Kong’s leading publications that he was getting tired of the 60 emails he receives daily from brands that everybody  already knows. Did he even have the liberty to ignore them? And what’s the impact of this communication overload? Being an entrepreneur with a limited PR budget, supporting fashion designers with equally limited resources, my team and I rely on developing good relationships with editors to get some unbiased coverage. It takes longer, definitely, but it’s also much more exciting than simply writing a check.

But how will we fare in this changing media landscape, in which mainstream brands have recently started to truly saturate the media space across Asia? With the European and US markets remaining sluggish, the entire global fashion industry sees the Asia-Pacific region as the new El Dorado. From low-end brands to luxury fashion houses, they’ve all proven quite aggressive in terms of marketing and PR.

This looks like a blessing to print media houses in Asia at the moment, but I doubt that it will prevent their readers’ inevitable switch to the digital space. Fortunately for all of us, there are still journalists looking for something out of the ordinary, or designers with genuine stories to tell that you’ll enjoy reading until the very last word. This dynamism has also prompted a certain number of new publications to blossom. (Though many still need to find a workable business model.)

Already, some brands have made a more aggressive digital shift, with LVMH’s lifestyle site NOWNESS (which recently launched a Chinese-language version) and Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide Magazine among them. But for readers inundated with major brands, there are still options both on- and offline that offer a different take on fashion and a new tone. This is an important development. For emerging brands and designers, adapting to this changing media landscape is key to reach readers (and potential customers) looking for new and interesting angles on the fashion industry.

Cedric Delzenne is the founder of Shop des Créateurs, the first online sales & marketing agency for emerging fashion designers, carefully handpicked around the world. With a top-notch e-commerce platform and genuine expertise in social media and PR, the Shop helps up-and-coming labels turn the Internet into a brand-building and revenue-generating tool. Currently supporting over 35 brands from Asia, Europe and the US, the Shop organizes or sponsors creative events and design competitions in Hong Kong and beyond.

(Opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jing Daily editorial team.)


Fashion, Market Analysis, Marketing, Tech