Among the highly scrutinized March fashion magazines, Condé Nast's Vogue is holding on to its usual first place, with 457 ad pages, up 4.5 percent from 2012. Archrival Time Inc.'s InStyle weighed in with 361 pages, a 4 percent increase over last year. At Hearst, Elle, as previously reported, came in third at 338 pages, up 6 percent.
As ad page numbers continue to roll in for the March issues, generally considered a harbinger for the magazine industry, the spring trend among fashion books looks generally positive for the second year in a row. Following Hearst’s record-breaking March paging, many of the big fashion books at Condé Nast and Time Inc. are reporting similar growth on increases in retail and fashion advertising.
Vogue vp, publisher Susan Plagemann credited the title's results with across the board growth in retail and fashion, along with growing luxury and nonfashion and beauty business.
InStyle is claiming bragging rights for this year's March being the biggest in its 19-year history (and nearly double the size of March 2009, when publisher Connie Anne Phillips first joined the magazine), with 127 pages of new business from 82 brands, including J. Crew, Calvin Klein Collection and Carolina Herrera.
Glamour and Lucky stuck out as the only two fashion monthlies to be down for the month. Glamour fell 12 percent from 2012 to 161 pages following a weak September. The magazine noted that it’s making gains on the digital ad side—up 12 percent in revenue through March—which it’s hoping to continue with new hires: Marisa Costa, formerly of Hearst Corporate Digital, was recently hired as Glamour’s digital ad director, and Samantha Gross is joined as digital ad manager from Condé Corporate.
Lucky, the sole fashion book to report a decrease in paging last March, closed this year’s issue with 103 ad pages, a 3 percent drop from 2012. The magazine recently announced a major internal shake-up in which Gillian Gorman Round was brought on to oversee both editorial and advertising as general manager, while vp, publisher Marcy Bloom exited.
Other books fared better. Time Inc.'s People StyleWatch had 172 ad pages in March (a 27 percent increase over 2012). The retail category grew by 83 percent (new advertisers include Bloomingdale's, Lane Bryant and TJ Maxx), while fashion was up 37 percent on new business from denim brands like Hudson, Seven for Mankind and G-Star.
Condé's oversized fashion tome W closed its biggest March issue in five years with 210 ad pages—a 3 percent increase over 2012. Standouts were fashion and retail, up 6 percent; and jewelry, 12 percent. Vogue’s pocket-size little sister, Teen Vogue, had 124 ad pages, up 31 percent year over year.
Men's magazines also have reason to celebrate. GQ came in first with nearly 139 ad pages, up 8.2 percent over 2012. Details increased its paging by 27 percent to slightly more than 111 ad pages on growth in fashion (new business includes Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and Banana Republic), automotive and spirits (Lincoln, Cadillac, Maker’s Mark and Johnnie Walker all made their debut in the first quarter). Hearst’s Esquire increased its March paging 30.6 percent for a total of 103 ad pages, the magazine’s largest spring fashion issue ever, with new business including Bottega Veneta, J. Crew, Land Rover and Ritz-Carlton Hotels.