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Style.com Leaps From the Screen to the Page

Going behind the scenes at the spring runway shows

Dirk Standen

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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the fall fashion shows? The editors of Condé Nast’s Style.com made an unusual move and reverse-published a glossy magazine, Style.com/Print, to show you just that. Style.com editor Dirk Standen talked with Adweek about its 218-page issue chronicling the spring runway shows that just ended—and whether there will be more Style.com offshoots.

Adweek: Who is this magazine really for?
Standen: It’s absolutely for fashion insiders, and I don’t necessarily mean people in the fashion industry. One of the things Style.com did was open up fashion to millions of people who’ve become fashion insiders. It’s really for those people who are absolutely obsessed with fashion.

One way Style.com made a name for itself was by capturing street fashion. Are the days of the imperious, all-knowing fashion editor on the way out?
Yes. I think it’s a two-way conversation now. It’s not to say the editor’s not important. People still look to the editor to make interesting choices, but I don’t think you can dictate to them anymore. We combined what we saw on the street with the runway. Lots of people do a best-dressed list. Ours was voted on by the readers. What was really interesting to me was, we had a whole mix of people and looks.

 

I heard there was a pretty dramatic story behind the cover shoot.
The thing with the Lindsey Wixson shoot was, we were literally pulling clothes off the runway and getting it to the shoot the next day. It was all hands on deck. We had 10 days to close the magazine after we got back from Paris. The only way to do it was to do it live. There are no retakes on something like this. We had to do it with no safety net, as it were. Everyone is working 18 to 20 hours a day for a four-, five-week period, and continuing after that.

Are you keeping an eye on corporate rival Vogue.com now that Vogue has relaunched it and it’s coming into its own?
Clearly there is room for both because our audiences continue to grow. You see a lot of people doing fashion, and we take them all seriously.

Style.com/Print was the first product for consumers to come from Fairchild Fashion Media since taking over the site. Will there be any more consumer-aimed products springing from Style.com?
Yes. I think it’s a little early to talk about that, but there are definitely different segments of the fashion audience we might target and different media we’ll be looking at over the next few months.

How else was creating the magazine different from producing the website?
When working on a website, you’re dealing with technological constraints. I found it really interesting to work with our photographers and writers on other pieces and expand what we do into the magazine.