Stephen Gan, the editor of V magazine and VMan, has been working on ways to upgrade the reader experience of the companion sites to his fashion print glossies.
A Web site rehaul was a no-brainer, Gan confessed, offering that the sites would need to be more mobile-friendly and include cleaner displays, more delineated verticals and an extensive archive. But it would also have to cater to a younger audience who may eschew buying a copy of the somewhat hard to find magazine on the newsstand.
“Fashion and technology are the same in that they are ever changing,” Gan told WWD. “You turn around and there’s another new app in the way that there’s another new cruise collection showing somewhere in the world. We’re keeping up with the pace.”
Unlike its previous iterations, V and its men’s companion, VMAn will have separate sites beginning Tuesday, and they will both include dedicated areas for branded content. The sites, whose launch sponsor is Burberry, also include a video vertical and commerce portal where readers can buy reprints of the magazine.
Gan explained that part of the relaunch would be to facilitate shining a spotlight on emerging musical talent and pop culture talent. Keeping current and being a “platform,” for young artists is what the publications are all about, he explained.
In order to target a younger audience, Gan noted that the digital issues of V, which can be downloaded in the iTunes store for $2.99, will include extended coverage beyond what is found in the print edition. Previously, when V dropped in print, it would carry the same digital content.
For example, the current issue of V features Charlize Theron on its cover, but the digital issue, available tomorrow, features Lily-Rose Depp on the cover, as well as other exclusive content.
“Lily-Rose Depp is the quintessential Millennial. She’s 16,” he said. “Most of the fashion world will know her as the beautiful daughter of her famous parents [Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis], but reading the article on her, which was done at the Sundance film fest…you’ll find out that at 16 she already has three movies under her belt. She’s symbolic of a new generation.”
Gan noted that in order to publicize the digital editions, V would trade off its cover star’s social media presence, among other things. He gave V’s work with Lady Gaga as an example, explaining that the pop star used her expansive social media presence to broadcast her guest editorship in January. VMan’s digital issues will likely get the same treatment this year.
“Social media has been a great sort of magnifier to the content we’ve been doing,” Gan offered. “More original content in digital issues will be required, [even though] the print magazine remains the sun in our solar system.”