Customer service is the name of the game in magazines and denim. While People StyleWatch editor Susan Kaufman can remember the Landlubber and Fiorucci jeans she owned earlier in her life, she said her target reader was the Millennial, and she came armed with statistics to provide insight into their shopping habits.
“I think of what we do as customer service, because we are essentially a shopping magazine,” said Kaufman, who has been editor in chief of the title since it launched in January 2007.
Kaufman said one poll respondent said the magazine helped her have fun while becoming a smarter shopper. “That helped define the brand, because a lot of women are intimidated by shopping, especially when it comes to jeans, because fit is so important,” she said.
Out of respect for her readers, Kaufman always considers price points, style and diversity when featuring denim. She used an April trend story covering 44 brands as an example.
“It’s important for brands to think about who your customer is and what kind of quality you are giving them for the money. If you have Web sites and stores, the more information you can give to your customer and the more ways you can tell them how to wear it, the more they are going to buy,” she said.
The magazine’s first denim awards issue in November featured 185 brands, with 700 try-ons. There were 35 winning brands in 25 categories.
Next year’s issue will be even more focused on body type and feature more price options, trends and styles. Fifty-five percent of the readers polled read blogs, so reaching out to bloggers is key for brands, but they said they look to fashion magazines more than blogs for validating a trend. They also said, “If an item doesn’t go with at least three things I own, I’m not buying it,” which speaks to the need for versatility.
People StyleWatch’s third-ranking fashion story of the year was one that showed the different ways celebrities wear the same jeans. Not surprisingly, 94 percent of those polled like celebrity coverage, and 52 percent said celebrities influence their choices, although it wasn’t the level of the celebrity as much as how much they resembled the reader that appeared to be paramount, suggesting that jeans brands need to approach the consumer with more diversity in their messaging.
Discounts and limited editions remain powerful ways to drive sales. Brands that appear on the magazine’s 20-percent-off page can realize additional retail sales ranging from $200,000 to $1 million following publication.
Kaufman also advised brands to keep the message clear and simple. “There is so much out there,” she said, “anything that you can do to make it simple and distinguished will help consumers.”
According to the magazine’s research, 48 percent of Millennial readers polled shop for jeans at least once a month and 76 percent said fit is the most important factor in their purchase decisions and brand name the least important. The Web sites of Nordstrom, Gap and Old Navy received the best grades for customer service.
And the top word used to describe how women felt in their jeans was “sexy.”
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)