Purple Ginger in Cosmopolitan
Why are magazines still attracting loyal readers who can sometimes get similar content elsewhere for free? Today, anyone can start a blog, and with fashion, anyone who can name more brands than just Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada (see what I did there?) claims to be an expert. Sites like Polyvore make it easy for people to make pseudo-magazine style "layouts", and many bloggers become famous just by taking a picture of what they wore that day. The appeal of magazines is a guarantee of professionalism and accuracy. A fashion magazine can take the place of a personal stylist for everyone from those who love fashion in it's entirety to people who flat out don't notice trends and struggle dressing themselves in the morning. Magazines are visually entertaining, informative, and take a large amount of information and put it in a package that looks sleek and travels easily. There's a reason publishers can still sell them for $5-$9 an issue and still move enough to make a profit.
Purple Ginger in upcoming
issue of Dolly Magazine
But magazine's aren't just beneficial for the publisher and those reading them. There is a web that connects designers and their products to PR agencies to magazines to consumers, and every group gains something from the connection. When a magazine requests samples from a showroom, there are many ways they use them to the group's benefit. For example, when Purple Ginger sends a spring dress to Dolly, the magazine might use it in a layout, but they could also choose to use it in an editorial. Say the magazine wants to do an article and layout about spring weekend wear. They might choose the dress and pair it with another designer's sandals, then sunglasses and a handbag by a different designer, then a light cardigan from yet another designer. In the end, there's an outfit that readers can duplicate. They trust the magazine and their seasoned writers, so if they like what they see, they'll read the caption and find out the designer of each piece. If they really like it, they'll seek out the designer's website and find out where they can buy the piece. It's similar with editorial, where the reader sees the item styled on a model or a celebrity. This is the easiest way for consumers to visualize the items on them, themselves. They can see how a garment looks on a human body and the actual shape of the piece. It can be like a dressing room, without ever having to set foot in a store.
Purple Ginger in a Shop layout
Purple Ginger in a Shop editorial
This type of usage hits consumers in a different way than advertising does. When a reader sees an advertisement, they know they're being sold to. They think that anyone with enough money can buy an ad and use it to say something "works" or is "on-trend" or "in style", and frankly, they don't really trust advertisers. Shoppers are more likely to buy something from someone who they know had the option whether or not to promote something, than someone who is pushing a particular item on them just to make money or get their name out there.
The moral of the story is, people trust magazines, and they trust the writers and editors. Designers trust them to promote their products positively, and publishers trust their customers to keep coming back if they offer a good product. So whether it's in print or online, as long as magazines still offer great products to their readers and keep good partnerships with designers, then they'll never have to worry about losing readership and support.