Condé Nast, the fashion publishing powerhouse behind consumer-facing magazines like Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, has officially stepped into the trade-publication sphere. The move flags an unusual, bottom-line focused direction for the company amid a tough environment. The 21st century has seen the veteran publisher downsize markedly and traditional fashion magazines lose relevance and influence, especially among a millennial audience drawn to social media and intellectual content.
On January 27, Condé Nast International announced the launch of Vogue Business, a new business-media title it says will offer in-depth analysis into global trends shaping the fashion, beauty and luxury industries. The company’s announcement stresses that one area of specialization will be China, as the country’s consumers are now a leading buyer of luxury. A newsletter in Mandarin is under discussion.
While sharing the Vogue name, the new venture is starting as a 6-person editorial team headquartered in London, headed by Lauren Indvik, the former editor-in-chief of Fashionista. Vogue Business will operate independently from Vogue and will prioritize newsletters and online content in order to serve the needs of readers from fashion startups to CEOs, the company said.
Condé Nast International rolled out a beta newsletter last June and tested it in various formats. According to the company, there were approximately 7,000 subscribers to their beta newsletters and the average engagement rate, they report, stood at an eye-opening 60 percent. Vogue Business will launch an official website this week, and a paywall is eventually planned.
“Fashion journalism in certain areas has become people journalism,” said Wolfgang Blau, the President of Condé Nast International, explaining what he felt other existing trade journals in the field were missing in terms of their business reporting. Too much “about CEOs resigning and hiring, or creative designers appointing. We want more analysis, depth, and more content on why this is happening.”
The publication will provide B2B services including industry conferences, research papers, consulting services, etc., to augment profits.