Print is not dead. Print is not dead. Even though we write for the Internet, we love magazines, and one, we are cheering for their survival and two, we like to track the new ones emerging while different corners of the Web incorrectly sound publishing’s death knell over and over and over again. Publishing’s fashion sector is experiencing evolution, not extinction, which means print’s new founders are changing — not the existence of print itself.
Guess who has money to found a fashion magazine in 2014: retailers. The first issue of Net-A-Porter’s long in the works print title, Porter, arrives tomorrow at newsstands and fancy salons the world over, with a kindred spirit debuting simultaneously (not in any official capacity). Editorialist, the luxury accessories site founded by two former ELLE editors, Kate Davidson Hudson and Stefania Allen, is launching an eponymous, twice-yearly print magazine, also tomorrow. The first issue features Nina Agdal on the cover and will be distributed among fashion media during NYFW and Paris Fashion Week, later this month.
While much of the featured products will be shoppable, in that they relate back to what’s concomitantly available on Editorialist’s site, the magazine will also offer the full run of expected glossy fodder, from fashion editorials to celebrity features (Jessica Alba, Olivia Palermo) and pieces from buzzy artist contributors (Maxwell Snow). Editorialists’ founders “never anticipated publishing a print iteration,” they told us, but “by the time we launched our second digital issue, the demand and reader engagement with the content far exceeded our highest expectations.” Which says a lot about the plethora of new branded content being launched, generally.
And for those of you aghast at the seeming conflict of interests, there’s no worse conflict here than there ever was. Look, fashion editorial and retail were never truly separate camps, anyway. This new manner of publishing just makes the connection clear. As Allen and Hudson noted to us, “print was a natural extension of the content we were providing online, and we felt it provided an added-value experience for our digital readers who like to have a tangible reference point to Editorialist.” If fashion mag subscribers are going online to look for what they want, anyway, it only makes sense for retailers with a unique editorial perspective to offer the same service, albeit in reverse order.