Print Fashion Magazines Still in Vogue

By Jordan Swensson

There is something exciting about coming home form a long day and opening my mailbox to find a new issue of Vogue.  Opening my favorite magazine is the escape I need from the computer, TV or my phone. I get lost in the inspirational designs, colors, photography and beautiful clothes I wish I owned.

Our generation is unbelievably tech-savvy. Many of us, myself included, can spend hours online each day. We’re the ones reading online, sending traditional media industries into a panic.  And some print industries have reason to panic.  Over the past decade newspaper readership on the printed page has dropped by about half — from 47 percent of Americans to 23 percent.  In contrast, statistics show, online readers make up an ever-greater share of all newspaper readers.

Photo credit: PEW Research Center 2012 News Consumption Survey

But would I want to read Vogue, or any fashion magazine, online?  I couldn’t touch the glossy pages or smell the perfume ads. This may be one case where the online version cannot provide the satisfaction we get from the real thing.

2010 was a successful year for many fashion publications.  According to Business Insider, a business news site, Vogue added 100 pages of advertising pages to its September edition that year, while Glamour magazine produced its biggest September issue in 20 years.

So print newspapers may be in trouble, but traditional fashion magazines seem to be doing fine. In fact, when I surveyed an SMU fashion media class, 43 out of 55 mostly female students said they preferred to read print fashion magazines versus online or on an iPad.

One student explained: “I like getting print magazines because there is something almost magical about holding it in your hands. Also, there is a lot of time and thought that goes into the layout of a magazine that is lost online.”

Many students shared a similar interest in tearing out pages to keep for inspiration or to collage with. One student said: “I’m always tearing out pages from all the fashion magazines I read so that I can refer back to the amazing outfits they put together when I need inspiration or when I want to know what is in style.”

Another student shared why she preferred online: “I like reading on the  iPad because they have interactive features and you can buy the things you directly see. However, I find that I read less of the magazine than if I have the print copy.”

Yes, it may be convenient, eco-friendly and interactive, but can you picture a world without printed fashion magazines? I sure hope not.

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