Conde Nast's Digital Focus: changes at the publishing powerhouse proved to be one of the bigger fashion media stories for the year. Image Amplified
Michelle Obama on the December 2016 cover of Vogue. Condé Nast’s Digital Focus: changes at the publishing powerhouse proved to be one of the bigger fashion media stories for the year.

One of the Year’s Biggest Fashion Media Storie: Condé Nast’s Digital Focus

Continuing with our look at year-end countdowns, it’s time to take a look at 2016’s biggest stories on fashion media. With its embrace of shopping platforms, Anna Wintour’s promotion to Condé Nast Artist Director, and the streamlining of brands, the changes at the publishing powerhouse also proved to be one of the bigger media stories.

Refining Condé Nast’s Approach

Adapting to digital media, at least somewhat, is unquestioningly a necessity. To that point, not all fashion brands were early adopters. However, as BOF pointed out last December,

And while not every advertiser has thrown themselves into large digital media buys, most have prioritised it. “It all depends on the client, on the category and their strategy, objectives and goals,” explains Robin Steinberg, director of publishing investment and activation at Mediavest USA, a part of Starcom Mediavest Group. “Some marketers, depending on the category, have been more progressive and adaptive. Consumer-packaged goods have moved much more rapidly into digital than those in the fashion and luxury space. But now, we’re seeing that adaption.”

SpearheadingCondé Nast’s digital focus appears to be Wintour.

Regardless, Wintour’s greatest impact might be her push to expand the company’s digital offerings. In October 2015, the Condé Nast network of sites drew 98.5 million unique visitors, a 36 percent increase from 72.2 million in October 2014, according to Comscore. While the size of’s editorial staff has grown to over 50 — and it’s clear that’s where much of the company’s digital resources are going — Wintour has also built direct relationships with several of the digital leads on other titles.

The Value of Legacy

The question is not so much whether the need to balance print with digital will jeopardize the publisher’s heritage, but rather how Condé Nast  will continue to exist into the future.

But will the power of Condé Nast’s five strongest brands be enough to carry it through the seismic disruptions facing the publishing industry? “The legacy brand, as purely a brand name, is still important,” Egan says. “Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar are very important. What you’re seeing is a shift in the eyeballs.”

Read more at BoF.

From Business of Fashion:


The Best of BoF 2016 | Top 10 Media Stories

  1. Is the New Working? It’s been just over a month since the launch of Condé Nast’s new e-commerce venture. Is it working? BoF’s Vikram Alexei Kansara sits down with Franck Zayan, president of, to investigate.
  2. What’s Going on at Condé Nast The publisher is streamlining its operations and reorganising its US portfolio to capitalise on its most valuable brands: Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Wired and The New Yorker. BoF breaks down the changes.
  3. How Instagram’s New Feed Will Impact Brands and Influencers What does Instagram’s new algorithmic feed mean for the platform’s lucrative influence economy?
  4. Can Cost-Cutting Save Magazines In the face of falling print ad sales and circulation figures, publishers are experimenting with new ways to cut cost, including pooling staff and sharing content.
  5. Condé Nast to Launch Vogue Arabia BoF can reveal that Condé Nast will launch a Vogue Arabia edition online in the autumn, followed by a print magazine next spring, appointing Saudi Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz as its editor-in-chief.
  6. How Snapchat Killed the Homepage In an attempt to woo Generation Z, publishers are launching social media-only concepts.
  7. The Art of Disclosure: FTC and the Influence Economy As the importance of native advertising continues to grow, are brands and digital influencers coming clean with consumers about the deals that power fashion’s influence economy?
  8. How Newspaper Supplements Took on Fashion Magazines While commercial success among fashion magazines is uneven, supplements are a steady oasis of profitability. How are they doing it?
  9. Publishers Bet Big on Special Editions Bookazines and special interest publications offer struggling print magazines high-margin revenue opportunities and the promise of new readers. But are they cannibalising the already-dwindling audience for monthly editions?
  10. Is Branded Content Buoying Fashion Publishers? Fashion publishers are pushing sponsored content to make up for declining traditional print advertising revenues. Is it working?

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