British media types and designers descended on the residence of the U.K. consul general in New York Monday night to celebrate 100 years of British Vogue.
The party was part of an international rollout of sorts for the glossy’s tome, “Vogue 100: A Century of Style,” and it welcomed the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall, Eric Boman, Joan Juliet Buck, Terry Jones, Jenny Packham, Suzy Menkes and Tory Burch.
“My job is to promote British brands and British companies into the U.S.,” said Antonia Romeo, Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York. “The fashion industry is worth 26 billion pounds [$39 billion] to the U.K. economy, so I think that puts fashion really securely at the heart of what I do. From street style to haute couture, many of the most preeminent fashion designers have been captured in the pages of British Vogue over the years.”
Romeo, wearing a Jenny Packham dress, marveled at the fact she was hosting the event for a magazine she’d grown up reading.
Alexandra Shulman, the editor in chief of British Vogue, also in Packham, said that three years earlier, she came up with the idea of the limited-edition book — a pricey endeavor — and eventually found publisher Genesis.
Following the remarks, Murdoch and Hall slipped out, signing the guest book at the front of entryway of the apartment.
Meanwhile, Shulman chatted about today’s Vogue and the importance of its digital footprint in the face of a shrinking print budget — and readership.
“I love the print magazine…but you’ve got to branch off it,” she said. “You’ve got to have that core. The brands that have a strong identity are surviving. It’s really important to concentrate on what you represent, something like this book which is really precious and special, and that’s what people expect from Vogue.”
Schulman acknowledged the difficulty that Vogue’s print core — high-end fashion photography — doesn’t translate to digital.
The editor pointed to fashion information, authority, reviews and news, not images, to drive the web conversation — and that includes trying to break news, an area that many women’s magazines eschew.
“What you have is you’ve got a fashion authority in Vogue,” the editor said. “It’s very important on the web that we invest in that. As soon as you chase celebrity on the web, you’re really eroding what we’ve got.”