Fashionable Retail Applauds Its Newfound Editorial Side

Nowness from LVMH

Nowness, from LVMH, hardly mentions its parent brand.

After the meteoric rise of sponsored editorial retail during the last few years, brands have weighed in and declared the experiment a success.  From major luxury conglomerates to quirky, high-end individual labels, those who’ve launched magazines or elaborate editorial sites, all seemingly unintended to sell anything, seem pleased with the decision — and not just because their publications look so good.

  • Nowness, the online magazine from LVMH, has over 300,000 registered users.  Some of the site’s videos have been viewed over 1 million times.
  • Net-a-Porter uses its seamlessly integrated editorial component to track what readers liked or passed over — and then what they eventually bought.
  • The jeans brand BLK DNM introduced an art and photo publication, Gazette, and reports that putting out 5,000 copies of the mag is more cost efficient than repeated seasonal advertising campaigns.
  • Even better, the Gazette is pay-what-you-wish, with proceeds donated to charity.  Now how’s that for positively contributing to a brand’s image?

We’d also like to point out the contrast between, say, the inviting, extensive site A Bullseye View, from Target, versus the sleek look of The Window, from Barneys New York, versus the quiet cool of publications like Oakazine, put out in print (albeit not recently) and online by Oak, the edgy New York boutique mini-chain.  While these editorial components couldn’t be more different from one another, each is successful because it perfectly encapsulates what the parent brand is about.  And as fashion brands continue to launch such content, that particularity seems to be the key to their effectiveness.

Disclosure: Like the retail editorial mentioned above, The High Low is also sponsored by a fashionable corporate parent; in this case, Liz Claiborne Inc, which will become Fifth & Pacific Companies in May 2012.