August 24, 2010

Now and Then

[Nina Garcia's book is the] latest example of how Ms. Garcia is building her own brand by stretching the parameters of what a fashion editor is.
It’s a complicated time for the grandes dames atop the mastheads of fashion magazines. They face an advertising base shaken by a lingering recession, and the rise of bloggers and Web-savvy fashionistas...who are eating away at the once-uncontested influence of magazine editors to shape trends.  
“The fashion editor as it used to be has changed,” Ms. Garcia said, over lunch in the cafeteria at the Hearst Tower on West 57th Street, where Marie Claire is published. [...] “Now you have to wear many hats, and whoever tells you differently is wrong. Now you’re on TV, whether you want it or not.” 
An interesting if not very analytical look from the New York Times at Nina Garcia's career up close and also the role of fashion editors in today's media landscape. 

Editors as brands are an area of interest to me, because it's a fairly recent phenomenon (at least away from the top of the masthead) and one which is both very logical and yet impractical, in my opinion. On the one hand, it's amazing publicity and critically important for the media outlet to have photogenic, telegenic, articulate brand ambassadors out and about, taking over responsibilities beyond market work, writing, styling, and editing. On the other hand, the irony and reality is that all those TV segments, reality show episodes, reader events and additional pr-generating activities are extremely time-consuming, which may in some cases take time away from the initial editing workload.

The bottom line, though, is that these branding activities create added value for the employer, while empowering editors to become highly visible and individual entities for readers, and therefore much more difficult to replace. We imagine these shifts are here to stay.

Dear readers, how many mastheads have you memorized? Can you match the junior market editors to their Sartorialist snaps?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Over exposure can dilute the brand and make it vulgar. Editors have to walk a tightrope balancing between being enigmatic and too revealing. Neither extreme is desirable…I guess Baby Bear got it right…not too soft…not too hard…not too hot…not too cold…but always just right!! And of course that is their challenge.