Aw, this is a pity: Fairchild has pulled the plug on Vitals Magazine, for both men and women. It was scarcely a year old; Vitals Man launched last August, and Vitals Woman launched this past March.
Sadly Vitals “has fallen short” of expectations at Fairchild, according to president Mary G. Berner, who said the company “decided not to make the long-term investment it would have required” (per AdAge). She also said that it was “one of those hard ones because it’s such a good magazine.” (per the NYT).
The decision was apparently made before the this week’s reorg at mothership Condé Nast, though as AdAge’s Nat Ives says it certainly “frees some “breathing room” for Condé Nast shopping titles Lucky and Cargo.
For the record, we thought Vitals was quite different from other shopping mags; it lacked the cutesy quality of Lucky and seemed to hit some different notes from Cargo (disclaimer: I am not very familiar with Cargo, Andy Roddick notwithstanding). I have Vitals Man in front of me, and examples of beautifully-laid out and informative features include “Read a French Wine Label” with three annotated versions (I don’t know about you people, but I am no sommelier) and the companion piece, “Meet The Magnum,” in which I learned that the top sizes of bottles are literally biblical in proportion: a double magnum is a “jeroboam” and the biggest, the 15-liter/20-bottle whopper is called a “nebuchadnezzar” (though no capitalizing for either, apparently). It also had an interview with a hair-loss specialist (no shame, gentlemen), some attractive fashion pages and a back-page essay on being a frustrated Luddite by Simpsons exec story editor Daniel Chun. Vitals engaged readers by featuring their recommended products (and them, in the case of the Wall Streeters modeling power suits. They were all in their 20s so off-limits for me but go go go ladies, get the mag while it’s still on the stands!). I recall Vitals Woman as being similarly engaging (and as a side note, I distinctly recall that every other ad page in the March issue featured the once-ubiquitous Kate Moss).
Fortunately, most Vitals staffers will be have options to go elsewhere at Fairchild/Condé, including editor in chief and founder Joe Zee, former fashion director of W Magazine (and alumnus of York Mills Collegiate Institute where this blogger went to high school). For what it’s worth, we thought Vitals was lovely to look at, quite useful and very entertaining. We’re sorry to see it go.