It looks like September is set to be a record-breaking month for a whole slew of fashion titles. Following Hearst’s news that Elle and Marie Claire are publishing their largest-ever issues (the former for Hearst, the latter for the magazine itself), Vogue, InStyle and People StyleWatch are on track to set their own records with impressive ad gains.
The official report from Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann has the Condé Nast flagship trouncing its competition with its largest September issue to date. With a whopping 658 ad pages, the magazine is up 14 percent year-over-year, making this the third year in a row that the title saw double-digit gains in September. Vogue isn’t releasing the total number of pages in its September issue just yet, but on Friday, it will launch a game on its Facebook page where readers can guess how big the magazine will be.
According to Plagemann, Vogue saw increases in every one of its core ad categories and added close to 150 pages of new business. In the months ahead, Plagemann expects to see further gains thanks to upcoming advertiser programs. “We’re not looking at this as a single moment—given all the investment and activity from September on, it’s really about celebrating and making September the beginning of a crescendo into our next 120 years,” she said.
There’s more good news over at Time Inc.’s Style and Entertainment Group, where InStyle is also set to publish its largest September issue ever. At 440 ad pages—a 2.3 percent increase from 2011—InStyle is marking its fourth consecutive year of September paging gains. Publisher Connie Anne Phillips said that the magazine saw major increases in fashion and beauty advertising—16 percent and 10 percent, respectively—and added new September advertisers including Missoni, Coach, Dior, Revlon and Chloé Fragrance. Several existing brands also made major paging commitments in the issue, like LVMH, whose ad pages were up 50 percent, and Ann Taylor, which is running a 22-page spread.
To support its September issue, InStyle put together an online advertiser program called “Five Faves for Fall.” Through the program’s social commerce site, consumers will be able to create lists of their five top items from participating brands, and then post that list to Facebook. Seventy-six different advertisers, from Longchamp to Loehmann’s, signed on for the program, said Phillips.
People StyleWatch is another win for Time Inc. Its September issue will be its biggest ever with 185 ad pages, up 8 percent from 2011. The title saw strong gains in fashion, retail and prestige beauty, and added more than 67 new brands to the issue.
Not everyone is looking forward to a big September, however. Glamour, Condé’s mass-market fashion book, isn’t faring as well as its higher-end sister pub. Following a banner September 2010 (ad pages grew 57.5 percent) and flat 2011 paging (but still record-breaking in terms of revenue), the magazine fell 35 pages this year, closing with 205 ad pages for September. While the fashion and luxury sectors were up and the magazine added new brands Laura Mercier and Givenchy, Glamour said that its September issue was hit hard but industry-wide loss of food and pharmaceutical advertising.
Changing gears (and gender), Condé’s men’s titles are going strong this fall. Following the lead of GQ, whose paging is up 9 percent from 2011, Details will run 140 ad pages this September, a 20 percent increase year-over-year. A spokesperson for the magazine said that paging is rising to pre-recession levels, with fashion up 23 percent and grooming up 46 percent.