It’s hard to believe that the big names we’re all familiar with, such as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, i-D, and GQ, could be in danger. Despite their success, these fashion magazines have been threatened by the decline of print publication, success of fashion bloggers, and the immediacy of the internet. Consumers are quickly swapping out their mailed monthly subscriptions to Cosmopolitan for a subscription to a YouTube channel or the follow of an Instagram page. Nevertheless, hope is not lost for print publications, and although the future may seem bleak for fashion magazines, that doesn’t mean they’ll simply fade out of existence.
An obvious answer to the changing tide is a switch to prioritizing online publication. After all, the interest in websites and social media has skyrocketed due to its accessibility. Second is the rising concern of sustainability. Print publication requires a large amount of paper, so some turn to the internet because they do not wish to support something they deem to be harmful to the environment.
However, does that mean that there is no longer a spot in the world for traditional print magazines? There are still many positives to tangible magazines that simply cannot be ignored. The accessibility of internet content means that information comes and goes; while it might be easy to forget about an online article, it’s much harder to forget about a story on paper. While an abundance of internet stories vie for your attention in a way that causes sensory overload, magazines sit quietly and patiently, waiting for you whenever you have a spare moment.
Instead of trying to market their content to everyone, perhaps magazines should focus on more niche audiences to build loyal engagement. There are also ways to incorporate the popularity of social media into print publications, such as working with online marketing and internet personalities, getting the best of both worlds. The future is still bright for fashion magazines as long as writers and editors learn to adapt to the changing environment.