October 23, 2006

insert “devil wears prada” pun here.


anna wintour with andre leon talley from row at vuitton s/s 2007, pic from style.com

the american magazine conference is going on right now at the arizona biltmore in phoenix, co-sponsored by ad age, the magazine publishers of america, and the american society of magazine editors. as part of the conference, ad age names its “a-list” of the top ten magazines, the editor of the year, magazine of the year, launch of the year, publishing company and executive of the year.

vogue’s anna wintour was named editor of the year, for increasing circulation by 6%, single issue sales increased by 3%, plus she expanded the vogue empire into mens, teens and home. she has also been a driving force in supporting new talent, creating the vogue/cfda fund after 9/11 to give money and mentorships to designers. all of these are very fine achievements, but in the article on wintour, it states that one of the priorities in recent years has been fashion’s democratization.

In 1992, she featured Gap fashion on the cover of Vogue’s 100th anniversary issue. “I think that was a statement that we believe that’s where we think fashion is going,” she says. “What’s so great about fashion today, I think, is that it’s available on all levels. It’s available at the very highest, whether it’s a Chanel couture dress, or a great item that you might pick up at H&M or Banana Republic.”

i, however, have yet to see this reflected in the pages of vogue except for articles or maybe in the index section in the back of each issue. most of the fashion editorials in vogue are strictly high end, mixing balenciaga with prada, donna karan with lanvin, etc. if this is the way “real women dress,” then why not incoporate it into the book? At least in this month’s issue, there is a section on the “best basics,” where “real women” choose their favorite t-shirt, pants, tote bag, and knitwear, and the top 10 doesn’t read like a who’s who of haute couture. it will be interesting to see how vogue will change as prices for clothing and accessories continues to skyrocket, and women will be doing even more mixing and matching come spring.