GET ME A REDESIGN!: Condé Nast’s reliable cash cow Glamour has had a rough year. Ad pages dropped 7 percent in 2011, and the magazine’s newsstand sales are down 17 percent through the end of October.
These are familiar concerns—other than Vogue, all women’s fashion magazines are down in the low double digits off the newsstand this year — but considering the high volume at which Glamour sells off the newsstand, and its importance in guaranteeing a strong profit for its parent company, the hit has been meaningful.
This story first appeared in the December 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Now WWD has learned that editor in chief Cindi Leive apparently isn’t interested in waiting around to see if things magically self correct in 2012.
Leive is planning a major overhaul of the magazine, which will include a redesign. The new-look Glamour will launch in March and will include new columns and contributors. There are indications the magazine is aiming for a hipper attitude: Its content is expected to have an increased emphasis on pop culture, and it has hired the former art director of Nylon to help with the redesign.
“The format of many women’s magazines — Glamour included! — hasn’t changed much for a decade, but young women are consuming media in totally different ways now,” Leive said via e-mail. “Our team is creating a new Glamour and glamour.com for this new generation of readers — we’ll share it with them this spring.”
The magazine has tapped two New York design firms to work with design director Geraldine Hessler on the new look for the magazine and the site. One is Actual Idea, a design firm run by Michael Angelo, the former art director of Nylon who art directed the most recent Esquire Big Black Book and designed Fast Company’s Most Creative People iPad app. The other is Triboro Design, a firm that is run by a husband-and-wife duo of David Heasty and Stefanie Weigler. They’re located off of McGolrick Park in Greenpoint, and clients have included BLK DNM.
A reimagining of Glamour has had to be in the back of Leive’s mind for some time. Back in June, she hinted that changes could come if sales didn’t pick up.
“We’re looking at the sales for the first couple months of this year and we’re thinking, ‘Geez, we’ve got to fight even harder to keep these girls,’” she said then. “It’s the classic thing. A girl has 1.7 seconds at the newsstand to make her decision about your magazine. Are we using that 1.7 seconds as well as we should? If we need to do that more ferociously and with different people and different topics, then we will.”
Glamour isn’t the only women’s magazine undergoing some change, though. Harper’s Bazaar is working on a redesign, which will also launch in that ad-happy month of March (and, unlike the Condé Nast title, Bazaar is also reducing its frequency for a second consecutive year). Incidentally, both Leive and Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey have been editing their magazines for 10 years.