EVERYONE TO VIDEO: Refinery 29 is dipping into video in a big way. The fashion and beauty Web site unveiled a host of new programs at its first Newfront presentation held at Skylight Modern in New York on Wednesday.
The company said it would add 29 video programs, including scripted comedies, tutorials and documentaries. Videos will cover a range of topics including style, politics, food, sex, health, wellness, travel and beauty. It’s part of a larger mission for the company to shrug off its image as a fashion and beauty-centric blog that also produces sponsored content for brands, and become a site for original storytelling both in video and in print.
Chief executive officer and co-founder Justin Stefano: “Today we are reaching one in two Millenial women every month.” Founder Philippe Von Borries added, “Our roots are really in personal style and discovery.” He said: “We’ve growth from fashion and beauty… [and now we cover subjects] “from gender equality to the wage gap…Refinery 29 is about optimism.”
“This place creates some amazing, crazy s–t…We’re going to put women first–some bad–s women.”-Amy Emmerich, executive vice president of R29 programming.
Dubbed R29 Originals, the video storytelling unit plans on working with partners such as Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Wifey.tv and Planned Parenthood.
R29, which began offering video content last spring with the debut of original programs “I Am Icon” and “Style Out There,” said it plans to more than double its video offerings in 2015, as it taps new voices, explores new territories and dabbles in virtual reality content—the new “it” thing in media today.
For its scripted shows, R29 will partner with Planned Parenthood and produce a short scripted film series that will feature Lena Dunham, Mamie Gummer and Emily Ratajkowski, among others. Other scripted shows include a series penned by R29 features editor Vanessa Golembewski about everyday situations seen through a lens of humor and absurdity.
The documentary slate includes “Fashionably Bound,” a virtual reality travel series, and “Trendsetters of Tehran,” a co-produced film with Hot Snakes Media, which profiles “stylish” women in Tehran, who according to R29, “defy conventions and embrace self-expression by working to change the conversation in a society that has historically held them back.” There’s also an interview-style series called “Refined Wisdom” between emerging female directors and feminist icons, among others.
Like digital cohort Buzzfeed, R29 has unveiled a host of tutorial videos, ranging from beauty how-to videos and fitness tips, to style tips and the exploration of androgynous style in a video dubbed “Gender Bender.”