LONDON – Freelance fashion magazines face a series of problems amid the coronavirus epidemic: shoots have been canceled, advertisers are pulling out, production costs are rising and international shipping blockages are forcing publishers around the world to rotate and act creatively to connect with readers.
In the UK, Dazed Media offers the April issue of Dazed and the spring / summer issue of Another Man as a free download “as a little gift to our readers”. He also launched a #AloneTogether digital campaign on Dazed that invites home audiences around the world “to join an open movement that uses creativity to celebrate the community in isolation,” said Jefferson Hack, CEO and co-founder of Dazed Media. .
Another introduced the #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign, which urges people and organizations to practice social distancing and keep culture alive.
“We will support the creative industries by presenting deferred or canceled projects, fashion collections at exhibitions, films and much more. Culture must be protected and projected in the rooms of each home to give hope and humanity in times of crisis. The importance of digital media in doing this cannot be underestimated, ”said Hack.
Dazed will also suspend the print edition of its summer issue and, instead, create a special digital moment with contributions from readers and its creative community around the world.
“We are learning to adapt, to connect to each other through Zoom and our audience as much as possible to ensure that we can act and react meaningfully. It is important for Dazed to document this time – not to reflect it, but to help shape future positive stories around culture and society in the light of the crisis, “added Hack.
On Sunday, Hack wrote an open letter to members of the British fashion industry, begging them “to save our creative workforce and our national identity”. He urged people to support the new BFC fashion survival fund, “which I hope our government will prioritize urgent funding for.”
As part of his call to action, Hack cited a BFC study showing that 35% of young creators in the UK “will not succeed beyond the next three months, and more than half of the industry could be wiped out by the end of the year, including the livelihoods of many independent creatives – photographers, stylists, hairdressers, makeup artists, art directors, tailors and young creators who are very essence of the creative production of our country; his life and his soul. In addition to the humanitarian crisis, we must also recognize the very real economic crisis that has put our creative industries on the edge of the cliff for their survival. “
I-D is publishing a project similar to Dazed in the coming week. The parent company, Vice, last week introduced a cut in wages for many employees for the next 90 days. The executives will see their salary reduced by 25%, the CEO Nancy Dubuc undergoing a reduction of 50%.
As noted, vice-personnel carrying $ 125,000 will have to undergo a 20% reduction and also work a four-day week while those earning between $ 100,000 and $ 120,000 will face a 10% reduction. ID London editorial staff have not yet been affected by wages due to UK wages which are generally lower
Condé Nast’s Love magazine, meanwhile, saw a 41% increase in the number of unique online users and a 94% increase in social media engagement over the past week, while he presented his own #LOVEIN locking initiative, with an exclusive interview with Rita Ora on how she copes with loneliness during self-isolation. There is also Matty Bovan who prepares the perfect chocolate soufflé at the Bistrotheque; The workout routine of New York City celebrity personal trainer Korey Rowe and Mei Kawajiri, Bella Hadid’s favorite nail artist, creates custom nails for publication daily.
“Love hopes to provide respite from the horrific developments we all know, actively working remotely to present colorful and optimistic content to enrich their audiences,” said a spokesperson for the magazine. Meanwhile, the British and Italian editions of Condé Nast titles offer free digital access to the May issues.
Biannual magazine A Magazine Curated By, which has collaborated with Pierpaolo Piccioli, Kim Jones and Simone Rocha on recent issues, finished producing its latest issue just days before the quarantine measures and forcible confinement took effect in Europe. Using screen sharing apps, he managed to finish the graphic design and layouts, and slowly assemble the pages with team members in France, Germany, Italy and Canada, all working from home.
Dan Thawley, editor-in-chief of the magazine, said, “Photography labs have started to close around the world, and our contributors have been rushing to edit images and process films in various cities. One of them was even the victim of price increases in a New York factory, which almost doubled its costs overnight, knowing that it was the only laboratory still open. “
The magazine’s print shop is located in northern Italy and is still operating during this quarantine period as it is considered an essential service. “Our printing schedule has not changed. Many of our museum shops will receive the magazine later, but we expect it to have several more good months of shelf life. We don’t know how [the virus] will affect deliveries to other stores, “added Thawley.
The team is now evaluating the means to move forward during the second semester. “We are confident that our creative and business models are agile enough to withstand the economic repercussions of reduced advertising costs and limited production budgets. We are confident that the logistics of the shipment will remain an essential service. And to ensure that, we are preparing targeted digital partnerships to help support this launch, “said Blake Abbie, editor of A Magazine Curated By.
Adriano Batista, editor-in-chief of Barcelona-based men’s clothing magazine F-king Young! said despite the fact that the title had already produced most of the stories before the lock, it will have to wait a little longer for the new issue to come out as its design studio is closed. In the meantime, she has produced interviews focusing on the recent situation on her website.
“We also depend on other factors that we cannot control, such as distribution. Advertising will also be a big problem, not for this problem but for the next ones, because brands are not selling as they did before this crisis and we all depend on each other. It’s a full circle, “he said, adding that the magazine will try to focus more on sustainability and responsible consumption in future issues.
For small titles, the lock was particularly brutal. Wei Liu, editor of The Wow, a London magazine celebrating Asian women, said he had to postpone the next issue until everything was back to normal.
“I was informed that our filming, including the coverage, had been temporarily canceled or postponed since February due to the viral situation. And 80% of our filming was initially planned for March and early April in New York and London, then the closure occurred. My distributor also told me that most stores were closed because the government had decided that magazines were not an essential product, “he said.
“As a new independent magazine without an advertiser, the production budget has always been the biggest problem. Each of the interviews and editorials takes a long time to communicate and confirm, I can’t afford the time and money to get everything done on time. The only thing I can do now is focus on the content of the text, try to finish the email and phone interviews, ask the interviewees to provide their self-portraits and find a way to use them. in the magazine, “he added. .
Independent magazines in areas where the lock-in rules are stricter than Europe face even more challenges.
Cynthia Jreige, founder and editor-in-chief of Jdeed magazine in Beirut and Dubai, said: “The onset of the virus in Lebanon has forced all non-essential businesses to close, the printing plant in which we work. with and most of our distribution points included. Fortunately, the printers were able to work in shifts to complete production, which ended up being delayed by about a week. “
Distribution was also severely disrupted. The magazine could only be delivered to 45 stores in Lebanon, instead of the usual 340, and international shipments have stopped, with Beirut International Airport closed for almost three weeks.
In response to the restrictions, it has published more content from the latest issue online and has partnered with Toters, the best delivery company in Lebanon, to ensure that readers can receive the magazine at their doorstep. She is also about to start a series of live interviews on Instagram with vegan designers, photographers, makeup artists and restaurateurs.
Some publications are less impacted, such as the annual independent fashion magazine 1 Granary, founded by Olya Kuryshchuk when she was a fashion student at Central Saint Martins and who does not depend too much on advertising. The majority of the publication’s income comes from sponsorships, brand and exhibition consultations and event partnerships.
“We published our last issue in mid-November and plan to start work on the next issue from May,” said Kuryshchuk, currently stuck in Mexico due to the lockout. “This month, we will observe and collect ideas and information that will feed our printed matter. We can see the eternal demand for orders online, and our distributors are constantly working. As long as the printing press can remain open, we hope to succeed. “
She said the main team is very small. “None of [British] government support programs work for all of us. For the moment, there is no change and I am determined to support my team during this period. But thanks to the success of our previous issue and the multiple sources of revenue from 1 Grenier, we should be safe for the next few months, ”she added.
Launched as a student magazine for Central Saint Martins, 1 Granary also aims to help fashion students who, due to the virus, will not be able to organize shows for graduates. The magazine offers to present and promote their work online and to represent them through their graduate showroom.
Magazines lift payment walls for coronavirus content
Coronavirus pressure on media spreads from alternative weeklies to digital media, magazines
Condé Nast Britain unlocks May numbers and offers free digital access
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