MEXICO CITY — Vogue Mexico and Latin America has promoted Karla Martinez to editor in chief, succeeding Kelly Talamas, who will become creative director, based in Bogotá, Colombia.
The move comes just over a month after Martinez joined the title as associate editor and is part of “a strategic decision” to strengthen Vogue’s regional presence, notably in Mexico and Colombia where it has been making a strong push.
As part of that move, Vogue also recently named Ana Hughes special projects director from beauty director, to be based in Miami.
Martinez, 38, held fashion editor and director posts at Vogue U.S., The New York Times’ T Magazine, Interview and W magazine before taking the helm at Vogue Mexico and Latin America. Talamas, 32, joined Vogue Mexico as editorial coordinator in 2007 and became editor in chief in 2012. During her time, she helped boost the title’s image and circulation, promoting local designers through the Who’s on Next talent competition and producing content that helped develop the budding fashion, luxury, beauty and lifestyle markets in Latin America’s second-largest economy.
Talamas’ appointment in Colombia signals the magazine’s goal to grow in a fast-expanding market that is bucking the region’s overall economic slowdown.
Vogue is targeting a 30 percent circulation boost to top 400,000 issues by 2019 by boosting circulation in Colombia, Peru and Chile, where circulation hovers at 70,000, 23,000 and 22,500, respectively, Talamas told WWD recently. The goal is to increase circulation in those three countries to close to Mexico’s nearly 75,000.
To achieve this, Vogue will work to increase its local content to stand out from rivals such as Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire.
Its special events business will also be fleshed out. Vogue is looking to roll out Who’s On Next in Colombia amid rapid growth for its Talents Corner, which featured 25 designers in 2015, and an expanding franchise in Mexico, according to Talamas. The title will expand its Vogue en Vivo fashion weekends beyond Panama and Peru to Chile in 2016 and host more Fashion’s Night Out parties.
Central America and South American markets like Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia are also on the long-term radar, Talamas said.
Vogue-owner Condé Nast is also looking to muscle in the region, where Condé Nast Mexico and Latin America chief executive officer and general manager Eva Hughes sees strong potential from an improving economic and political outlook.
“There is a huge opportunity for all of us” in Latin America,” Hughes said in a recent interview. “Everyone is investing in Latin America. We want to continue building a viable business and reaching new audiences.”
Those audiences are increasingly digital with Condé Nast’s key titles Vogue, GQ and Glamour boasting some 17 million social-media followers as of last December. The publisher will focus on growing GQ and Glamour in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, as well as Argentina. Central America and the Caribbean are targets, with Condé Nast recently entering the Dominican Republic with Vogue and GQ.