Fashion magazines wonder how to cover pre-fall collections – WWD

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Pre-fall fashion collections can be important to retailers and designers, but for the fashion media, covering the season has become a matter of contention.

The issue of coverage for those in the long-term press is multifaceted, as more designers choose not to post images until the collections hit stores – May for pre-fall; November for the station. While the move caused longtime publishers to haggle over print exclusives, it also caused them to rethink how and if the season should be covered at all.

Part of the problem is that the media does not have the resources to fully cover what is an ever-growing list of pre-fall presentations and shows, while others wonder if the reader even cares. of another smaller fashion season – despite its advertising importance to retailers and fashion brands.

Still, editors of mainstream fashion magazines have widely emphasized the importance of pre-fall, a collection that is one of the easiest to wear and, therefore, relevant to the average reader.

“Although they are not part of what most people consider to be the traditional fashion calendar [the official fashion weeks of spring and fall runway shows], trans-seasonal collections like Pre-Fall and Beach Resort are actually very important because retailers buy more of these collections and keep them in store for the longest time. Therefore, it is essential that we cover them in the service of our readers, ”said Nina Garcia, Creative Director of Marie Claire.

Garcia said that while her team often sees and photographs the collections in advance for the magazine, she acknowledged that some designers wanted to keep the collections under embargo.

“We always try to be respectful to the brand,” she said. “When a celebrity wears a look on our cover, we ask for exclusivity. We also constantly work with big brands to create exclusive stories with the aim of bringing something special to our reader.”

At Glamor, editor-in-chief Cindi Leive echoed the importance of pre-fall to her readers, but added that much of her title’s coverage is done digitally and via social media.

“The goal is really to film things when they’re available to the reader,” said Leive, explaining that the magazine will feature a collection if there’s a significant look or a hot moment, like the debut of Lily-Rose Depp on the podium before Chanel returns. show 2017.

On its website, Glamor is also somewhat selective when it comes to coverage; it highlights certain creators, but it does not write any reviews.

According to InStyle’s fashion news director Eric Wilson, his post looked for new ways for pre-fall collections to fit into the magazine’s cover – not necessarily the other way around.

“We adapted to the blanket before the fall [differently]Wilson said. “At first we cover it digitally and now we cover it more on paper.”

Part of the reason InStyle pulled out of digital coverage before fall is that readers didn’t “hook up” to the season’s news like they did to the fall and winter collections. ‘summer.

“It’s scattered and there is less of a trend,” he said of the pre-fall. “We find it quite beneficial to cover them in magazine photoshoots. “

The editor noted that fashion-obsessed readers have likely seen the images from the pre-fall runways before, and therefore, oddly enough, designers reluctant to post images are doing them a favor.

How? ‘Or’ What? Wilson said he was able to work with brands that prefer to retain images, convincing them to release exclusive visuals for the title, which in turn makes InStyle’s coverage different from its competition. Wilson said this type of transaction also takes place with designers participating in the direct in-store runway movement. To ‘buy now’, fashion publications have made an effort on multiple fronts to cover the collections: getting exclusive first looks at designer collections for print, live streaming the catwalks, and documenting what’s on sale via social media, to name a few.

“What is happening is that some designers are giving exclusive looks from the September collections. We are negotiating with them, ”he said. “It makes it fun. It’s a new border.

At the same time, Wilson lamented the sheer volume of shows and the mandate of designers to produce more fashion and journalists to cover all shows.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said, adding that the “biggest problem” was not the media coverage of the shows, but the manufacturers “mass-producing” these looks “before designers could have them. to enter the stores “.

Counterfeiting is also a problem as many designers are unable to show a full collection and get it into stores before it is copied.

“It’s almost this surreal manifestation. There is almost exhaustion. This is where fashion is going, ”he said, before addressing the importance of print publications in fashion.

According to Wilson, even though digital and social media are at the heart of fashion coverage, print is still a way for fashion to retain its aura of exclusivity.

“There is no fear that print will be excluded from the fashion industry,” he said. “There is a part of fashion that has to be exclusive. It’s the insider. Print plays a big role in the mystique of the fashion industry.

Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle declined to participate in this story.

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