Vogue is launching its 27th country edition in Singapore, returning to the South East Asian city after a short-lived attempt in the market back in the Nineties, this time joining forces with publisher Indochine Media via a license agreement.
Vogue Singapore, the next edition to follow right on the heels of the launch of Vogue Hong Kong last year, will take the form of a monthly print publication and web site. All content will be published in English and is to debut this fall, the two parties said Thursday.
“Vogue Singapore rejoins the market at a time when Singapore’s local fashion design and talent are rising in the country and across the entire region,” commented Wolfgang Blau, chief operating officer and president of international at Condé Nast. “Vogue Singapore will play a vital role in boosting and supporting that talent as well as in bringing regional and international ideas to this edition of Vogue.”
“Times are very different and overall it’s a different stage that Singapore is now in with a fashion industry and designers that are much more internationally focused than before,” said Michael von Schlippe, president of Indochine Media. The company has more than 10 years of experience in digital communication, luxury print publishing across South East Asia and also publishes regional titles for Buro., Esquire, Luxury Guide and Robb Report.
While Singapore is known for its many luxurious malls and bold experiential retail concepts like Jewel at the Changi International Airport, which includes a waterfall in the terminal, von Schlippe acknowledged that the city-state, with a population of 5.5 million people, is relatively small.
“You have fantastic shopping malls, beautiful shopping areas, and all the international fashion brands are represented in Singapore, but the design and fashion scene is fairly small,” he said.
Nevertheless, he added, “it’s important to understand that Singapore punches above its weight and has significance in business, finance, culture and in many other ways as well across the region and in fashion, too.”
A print issue of Vogue Singapore will retail for around nine Singaporean Dollars. The web site will not be behind a paywall at launch, but von Schlippe said he couldn’t exclude including one down the road.
Asked why the publication will not be bilingual to include Chinese as well, a common language in the city, von Schlippe pointed to three other editions of Vogue that publish in Chinese — Vogue China, Vogue Hong Kong and Vogue Taiwan — which he felt filled the space for readers of that language.
“Although Chinese is widely spoken in Singapore, a lot of people don’t speak it in Singapore,” he said. “It’s a very cosmopolitan city, it’s the most non-Asian city in Asia and it is extremely multinational. If you want to reach a majority of people in Singapore it has to be in English.”
Vogue Singapore is still searching for an editor in chief to run a team of around eight full-time editorial staffers. The title will compete with Singaporean editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, L’Officiel and T Magazine.
“In this competitive universe, you have titles and publications are closer to Vogue and some are more distant but they include Harper’s, Elle, L’Officiel, T Style, to some extent the well established society titles in Singapore and nevertheless, wherever Vogue has been launched before, Vogue automatically takes the first spot,” he said. “For fashion, there is no other publication in the world that has the same prestige and such strong voice as Vogue.”
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