Welcome back! With fashion month right around the corner, now is the time when people would historically pick up the September issues of their favorite fashion magazines. In today’s post, I’m talking about the magazines we all know and love and whether they hold as much weight as they once did. Before I get into my current perspective of fashion magazines, let’s reminisce on their significance a little. Why did we love them so much?
Why We Loved the September Issues
Any fashion lover knows that September issues, specifically Vogue’s issue, are the most popular magazines to pick up each year. From a business perspective, the ad space is crucial to boost sales for the brands featured because Vogue’s September issue is historically the most sold copy of the year. Landing the cover or having your brand featured is a huge accomplishment and will provide more exposure than other months. For the general public, we love the September issues for a few reasons:
- Vogue’s September issue is lengthy! There is a ton of inspiration to flip through.
- September issues act as a seasonal reset, as they mark the end of the Spring/Summer and transition us into Fall/Winter fashion.
- The issues provide a very good forecast of the upcoming trends for the year so it’s a great issue to get if you want to get a head start on incorporating trends.
- These issues, due to the seasonal reset, are the perfect source material for creating a new mood board!
Even though all that is still true, I’d be lying if I said there hasn’t been a dip in the general public’s interest.
Do They Still Matter Today?
So I’ve talked about a few reasons why we love the September issues, but what about the reasons we don’t? As mentioned earlier, I am typically an avid shopper for fashion magazines during the month of September. I used to purchase fashion magazines every month, but the digital wave came and that decreased down to September. There are several factors that have quieted my (and from what I can gather, the general public’s) excitement with the September issues:
- The lack of diversity historically on the covers. (The summer Vogue challenge actually highlighted this fact.)
- A shift in the consumerism mindset as we collectively try to adjust spending habits.
- The state of the world causing material interests like fashion to feel tone-deaf at times.
- The decrease in print magazines over the years. (Remember Teen People and Cosmo Girl?)
- Fashion blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest have filled the void with relatable fashion.
Speaking on the issue of diversity, I will say that I have noticed an increase in black women and other minorities gracing the covers of fashion magazines these days. While it certainly shouldn’t have taken this long, I am glad to see the change. I just hope it continues for many years to come and isn’t simply a surface performative act. Vogue took an interesting route this September and commissioned two minority artists to design alternate covers. I picked the one designed by Kerry James Marshall because it caught my eye, but the inside cover also showcases the alternate option designed by Jordan Casteel.
I’ve spoken about the tone-deaf feeling of superfluous topics like fashion and shopping during hard times, but the awareness of the consumerism mindset is also important. As a blogger, I shop more than most. But even I have decreased my spending habits to create a balanced wardrobe of essentials and wearable trends. Sustainable fashion can be expensive and not particularly stylish looking, so the compromise there is to shop less. Purchasing a fashion magazine can feel like an extra expense, especially when everyday people tend to check out blogs and social media for fashion inspiration.
Overall, I haven’t completely given up on the September issue. It doesn’t hold as much weight as it once did, but that’s natural as I’ve gotten older and discovered my style preferences. I would love to see a black fashion magazine hold the same weight that something like Vogue carries.
What do you think? Are you still into purchasing the September issues?