American vs Global Fashion Media

With eyes recently directed overseas during the chaos of fashion month, our Fashion in the Media class was inspired to explore the differences in American and global fashion media. I choose to focus solely on print publications for this assignment.

scarlett-johansson-marie-claire-us-march-2017-issue-2I will say, it is hard to sum up global fashion media, and even American media, by just observing a select few publications. Each magazine, writer and publisher has their own voice and takes on news worthy events in their own way. To narrow the spectrum, I focused on Fashion, produced in Canada, and Marie Claire, produced in New York, for their similarity in tones and audience.

Initially, the covers hosted parallel features in their neutral backgrounds, large typography and a well-known celebrity on the cover. In other countries, it is still common to have models on the covers, but it is becoming the norm to feature profit driving celebrities. Although, Fashion does have a cleaner appearance with less typography, keeping the focus on the star.

Their content is also very similar. Each publication informs readers about a variety of topics starting with fashion then continuing on to beauty, feature stories and the arts. One topic that stood out to me in Fashion was their section covering Fashion Careers. fashion-magazine-march-2017-cover-sophie-trudeau-01-480x0-c-defaultI really loved how the magazines voice was not talking down to the reader in a prestigious way but wanted to encourage you like a friend. They talked about trends in a very wearable tone by using images from the runways but were not directly reviewing each show.

Where I noticed the most difference was within the imagery and advertising. There was remarkably less advertising throughout Fashion. The ads were not repeated and kept more strictly in the front of the magazine. It was also much more cluttered with the imagery. They tried to filled the entire page with repetitive images versus leaving white space. I understand the importance of taking full advantage of each page, but it’s also important to leave the page clean and visually appealing to the eye.

Change is Coming… And It’s Under 30

It’s no secret that the world of fashion is evolving at a rate so fast that some of us are even having a hard time keeping up. Although, change is ultimately what the entire industry is built on; that craving for the latest and greatest is never quite satisfied. With media playing such a prevalent role in our consumption of fashion, change is moving faster and more drastically than ever before.

Vogue recently posted an article titled “Change is Coming: 13 Talking Points for an Evolving New York Fashion Week”. Change has been a rapid influx since the “see now, buy now” model was put into place by various designers then followed by NYFW heavy hitters’, like Rodarte and Tommy Hilfiger, decisions to show in other markets.

All of this led to my interest in talking point #1 “Is NYFW optional?” and #3 “Is NYFW more important than ever?”. My initial impression to these ever changing formats, whether it’s “see now, buy now” or outlandish forms of presentations, like Opening Ceremony’s display at the New York City Ballet, is a call for attention. With the overabundance of media coverage, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of various forms of coverage. It has nearly become a competition of who can stand out the most.

With that being said, it is more important than ever that brands are participating in NYFW. This the most covered and reputable access point for brands throughout the year. Even though the market is so saturated, it is not worth missing out on the opportunity to stay relevant to the consumer. The various presentations are now focused on grabbing the attention of the consumers rather than professionals. Whether they gather their information from Vogue Runway or Instagram, an intriguing presentation will get a brand notice. This format has truly risen the bar and now is the time for designers to take advantage of the opportunity to shine.

This change is not only relevant at New York Fashion Week but within the fashion industry as a whole. A prime example of this is in Forbes 30 under 30 2017 Arts & Style list. These professionals are making waves in the industry with their innovations across all platforms.

Julia Gudish Krieger, 28, is the founder of VillageLuxe. She describes it as “Rent the Runway” for your everyday wardrobe. They offer high-end items to their customers like Hermes Birkin bags and Chanel boots. It’s become so popular that there’s actually a waitlist of thousands, and you need an invitation just to join. She’s found the perfect way to maintain exclusivity of their products while still making them more accessible to a wider market.

Another young professional bringing change to the industry is James Charles. He’s only 17 but has achieved the ultimate beauty rank of a CoverGirl ambassador. As the first male ambassador, he is opening doorways for beauty influencers of all backgrounds to reach success. In fact, he is only a high school senior and a self-taught makeup artist. He goes to show that with enough passion and determination, the sky isn’t even the limit.

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