Readers leafing through Vanity Fair’s September Style Issue will find a bevy of fashion-focused stories: Ingrid Sischy’s last unpublished work for the Condé Nast title, a profile of Broadway costumer William Ivey Long and ten-plus pages of Alicia Vikander.
But notably missing from the issue is VF’s International Best-Dressed List, an annual feature that has become a totem franchise for the magazine in the past decade, equaling its Hollywood Issue in terms of advertising power and public interest.
The absence is deliberate, and fits in with VF’s new publishing schedule: The International Best Dressed list has been spun from its typical September schedule and will now be published in October issues going forward. As a result, Vanity Fair will issue two consecutive style-focused issues each year, an attempt to capture more fashion advertising.
Without the Best-Dressed List, the anchor of this September’s Style Issue is instead a “Style Portfolio” of young Hollywood starlets — styled by VF fashion and style director Jessica Diehl.
Vanity Fair publisher and chief revenue officer Chris Mitchell told WWD of the change: “With our new approach to the editorial calendar, Fall fashion — from the Alicia Vikander spread to the Style Portfolio — anchors the September Style issue, and our International Best-Dressed List anchors the October issue. We’re able to delve deeper into our fashion and style coverage over multiple issues, and readers and advertisers get more of what they want.”
A Vanity Fair spokesperson noted that the changes are in line with the magazine’s adjusted publishing model — a strategy first reported by WWD in February.
In an effort to combat the notoriously slow advertising months of January, June and July — which Mitchell described to WWD at the time as “the dreaded ‘J’ months” — VF now publishes two stand-alone issues not anchored to a specific month. A “holiday” issue and the magazine’s annual Hollywood issue are marketed at newsstand as special editions, priced at $7.99. Mitchell said these larger issues have helped attract more luxury advertising revenue.
While its publishing model has been tweaked, the magazine continues to operate on a 12-issues-a-year schedule.