Firstly, I started planning out this post just under 2 years ago! Wow. Talk about next level procrastination. Since I’ve started doing outfit posts and my beauty regimens, I haven’t had much focus on opinion pieces the way I used to have the first few months of The Kayleigh Khronicles. However I think I’ve put off sharing this for long enough so today is the day. Secondly, if you only clicked this post in the hope of reading about my complicated and drama filled life – sorry to disappoint 😉
The subject of my post today needs little to no introduction. The brand that is Vogue is infamous, influential, fabulous and iconic to fashion. For as long as I can remember Vogue has always been my go-to fashion bible. If it’s ‘Vogue approved’ it’s good enough for me. But how did this empire come about and what makes Vogue so different from the other fashion magazines out there?
I won’t give you all a history lesson but here is a little background on the early days of Vogue.
Founded in 1892 as a weekly high-society journal, Arthur Baldwin Turnure created Vogue for New York City’s social elite and covering news of the local social scene, traditions of high society, and social etiquette; it also reviewed books, plays, and music. In the years that followed Condé Montrose Nast, a New York City-born publisher, launched his magazine empire in 1909 with the purchase of Vogue. At first, he published the magazine under Vogue Company and did not incorporate Condé Nast until 1923. Last year saw Vogue UK’s 100 year anniversary (Uk Vogue having started 1916) in which a great article was published discussing the happenings of Vogue and Condé Nast and how it came to being, well worth reading on the online site if you are interested to know more.
On a side note, special anniversary editions of that nature are on the top of my ‘must have’ lists when shopping. They make for great collector items and a lovely way to reminisce on fashion in years to come. Although if I’m being honest, Vogue is always on the top of my shopping list each month regardless. If I continue this way I may have to purchase a new bookshelf reserved especially for my magazines.
Conde Nast is now a billion dollar company and home to numerous other publications such as; Allure, Architectural Digest, Ars Technica, Bon Appétit, Brides, Condé Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, GQ, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Self, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Vogue, W, Wired, Reddit and Backchannel.
While all of this impressive, what makes Vogue and the Condé Nast name so different from other magazines and brands? Well for starters few magazines can boast that they have been parodied in a Hollywood film (The Devil Wears Prada) or immortalised as the title of a classic Madonna track. Vogue works with the best of the best; from photographers to models to writers to stylists, they also produce unique pieces and gained the credibility and power to lure the most interesting creatives. Current Vogue editor of 17 years Alexandra Schulman describes; “When people are uncertain they return to established names, but also to indulge in occasional escapist treats. That is where we come in – we are about fashion, style and contemporary culture.”
I realize I’m missing out on chunks of information but with over a hundred years of information, I have to be selective. It would however be criminal to discuss Vogue at large without the mention of current editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director for Conde Nast, Vogue’s publisher, Anna Wintour. Landing the editorship in 1988, Anna Wintour revived the publication and became one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry, known widely for her iconic page-boy haircut and chilly demeanour. She has helped make the careers of such designers as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. In recent years, her work has made her a power broker between designers and retailers.
Vogue has been published in 17 different countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. Here’s hoping we get to add South Africa to that list sometime in the not so distant future.
For me personally, my favourite thing about Vogue is the way in which it so accurately predicts fashion. Whether it be discussing past fashion trends or predicting new ones, and whether Vogue follows fashion, or fashion follows Vogue, what those glossy pages speak about always seems to come to pass. I’m sure I’m one of hundreds of loyal Vogue readers and lovers, 24.4 million readers globally, and 42 million unique monthly online users to be exact, so let me know what your favourite thing is about Vogue. Do you have a favourite edition, or a favourite country of publication? I’d love to hear your thoughts, as always let me know in the comments below.