Condé Nast Shakes Up The Publishing Industry by Nikki Lakin and Sarah Fielding
On August 19, media conglomerate Condé Nast announced its sale of Fairchild Fashion Media to Penske Media Corporation. This announcement came almost a week after Condé’s announcement of selling another one of its publications, Lucky magazine, to BeachMint. The sale of the highly—regarded Fairchild brand includes all of its trade publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Footwear News and Beauty, Inc. Penske Media only purchased Fairchild for 100 million dollars— 15% of what Condé Nast paid when it bought Fairchild from the Disney Corporation in 1999, The New York Times reported. Penske owns several entertainment trade publications such as Variety Magazine and Movieline. Many in the publication industry have been making strategic changes among their platforms and verticals, from publishing in print to just digital, acquiring new talent and the transaction of different publications. Lucky, newly spearheaded by Editor—in—chief Eva Chen, who has 239,000 Instagram followers of her own, has done something few editors
have dared to do. She has embraced social media by creating her own hashtag (#evachenpose) and made herself the face of Lucky. However, even with her efforts to promote the magazine, Lucky was on a downward spiral. This September, Lucky was down 34.3% in ad sales, having a mere 90 pages in ads in comparison to the 137 it had the year before. The move will create an e—commerce sector for Lucky, which, because it is a “magazine about shopping,” should hopefully create a medium where they are able to raise their revenues. With the rise of digital landscapes among all publications, most publishers are convinced they have to go digital in order to stay relevant. Condé Nast appears to see it this way, too. Although the media giant is remarkably well known for its publications that exude exclusivity, from fashion bible Vogue to home design haven Architectural Digest, each of its publications is available online in some form. One would be hard pressed to open an issue of Vogue and not see an ad directing you to check out Vogue.com.
One of the largest digital moves for Condé Nast was their creation of online platform The Scene. Launched in July, its features include documentaries, digital shorts and an in—house magazine series. This has created an online presence that wouldn’t be available in print form. It reaches a whole new customer base while offering a wide variety of content. Condé Nast is paying close attention to its other online platforms aside from The Scene. Style.com and NowManifest, Condé’s online network of fashion bloggers, will still be kept under the publisher’s ownership. While digital seems the likely future for print publications, should all of Condé’s resources go solely into it? As mentioned above, an online platform offers a whole array of new options in contrast to working with print. But print too has attributes that should not be ignored. A print magazine doesn’t have to be re—charged, has beautiful, no—glare ads and a reader’s favorite, perfume and other product samples. There is something very rewarding about holding the magazine and being able to turn the page.
As Condé Nast changes the digital scene, its focus is also being revamped to make what was once considered exclusive, now available to everyone. “Condé Nast has enjoyed unprecedented growth in our core consumer print, digital, mobile, events, video, television and film development businesses,” said CEO Charles Townsend, in a statement released by the publisher. “This sale underscores our commitment to accelerating growth in these areas.” With Condé Nast’s attention now on its consumer brands, this leaves those in the fashion industry wondering how this growth will determine the future of their most valued sources for industry information. However, with this new move, we can expect both corporations to flourish: Condé Nast will be increasing its presence in the consumer and entertainment publishing landscapes, while Penske Media will help to revive the declining industry publications under Fairchild.
CFDA Acquisition of the Fashion Calendar by Aaron Valentic
The fundamental use of a calendar, as described in any dictionary, is a system by which the beginning, length and subdivisions of the year are fixed, or even as a timetable of special days or events of a specified kind or involving a specified group. To any member of the fashion industry, a calendar is a Godsend. Whether scheduling appointments, highlighting deadlines or planning for the most highly anticipated week of the year, Fashion Week, a calendar comes as the organizational tool for any career/work obsessed fashionista. For those in attendance at Fashion Week, their personalized calendars of shows and events are edited meticulously to blend harmoniously (or as best as it can be during Fashion Week), but the people in charge of Fashion Week itself behind— the—scenes have looked upon the so— called Fashion Calendar in agony, until now. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, known as the CFDA, struck a deal with the Fashion Calendar and its original owner, Ruth Finley, in order to fully take over the calendar from July
2014 onward. Created in 1945 by Ruth Finley, The Fashion Calendar, a bible for the New York Fashion Industry, was implemented to organize and solidify events with the fashion industry into one clear, concise calendar to be published bi—weekly, in order to have editors, buyers and others involved within the industry have an organized system for shows and events. Ruth Finley revolutionized the industry itself with this newfound scheduling technique that helped to change the way in which designers held their shows. Yet, unknown to Finley, the industry began to take a sharper turn towards the digital and technological age. With the ever—growing usage of technology and the demands to modernize within the fashion industry, the outdated Fashion Calendar was beginning to become an archaic tool rather than a helpful or organized one. Industry officials, especially designers, began complaining more and more that the techniques utilized by Finley were becoming too much to handle – for example, designers had to call Finley herself in order for them to be placed
in the Fashion Calendar for New York Fashion Week. In a statement released by the CFDA, the acquisition of the Fashion Calendar “is to deliver improved organization and efficiency in the scheduling of New York Fashion Week and industry events throughout the year.” The CFDA also took note that even though they have acquired the Fashion Calendar from Finley, she will remain as a consultant for the planning and organization for the calendar. Although the official CFDA take—over of the Fashion Calendar won’t be implemented until the Fall 2015 fashion shows are on display next February, plans are already underway to bring the calendar into the twenty—first century by (hopefully) allowing the calendar to be utilized through mobile apps on cell phones, allowing it to be more accessible. The Fashion Calendar is also going to be geared towards housing time slots for the rapidly expanding resort and pre—fall collections that are becoming so prominent within the industry. “We plan to further develop robust
digital tools that deliver improved organization and efficiency in the scheduling of New York Fashion Week and industry events throughout the year. Additionally, we will implement a formal calendar for scheduling of pre— collections,” said a press release by the CFDA. So what does this mean for the fashion industry? The fashion industry is quite like organized—chaos — we all so desperately spend hours and hours overlooking tiny booking details in order to make sure our personalized schedules are the definition of excellence, but somehow it still manages to never come out the way one plans. The Fashion Calendar, a once dated tool used within the industry, is finally
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