Well, there has been a LOT of conversation about the fact that Glamour has TOTALLY redone themselves and now no longer resembles the Glamour of yore, like, at all. If you will recall correctly, they had a long long run of covers where all the headlines were scribbled on; then last month it just kinda looked normal, if somewhat like Allure. And now this, which is a COMPLETE make-over. Like, I am concerned that the people of Glamour are going through some stuff. This cover feels like Glamour just had a REAL bad break-up and went and got a dramatic haircut to try to make itself feel better. (It’s the first issue from their new EiC Samantha Berry, who has, per Business of Fashion, “no significant prior print experience after working as the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN.” So…things over there might be emotionally fraught.)
While my first thought at seeing this cover was first, “what magazine is this? GLAMOUR? WHAT?” and then “who is that lady?” — which is not great news for Glamour’s brand recognition, nor maybe for this photo of Melissa McCarthy (who doesn’t look bad at all; I think I’m just not accustomed to recognizing her face in such a serene expression) –I actually think that as A Magazine, unspecific to a brand, it’s a good cover. Is that crazy of me? Do I have some kind of brain fog? I’m not totally insane, right? I hate the “authentic, accessible, relevant” tag line — no one, no one in the world picks up a magazine and thinks, “oooh, hope this is accessible!” because that’s the word you use when you’re editing something, not the word you use to literally market the thing you’ve edited. Yes, you would say, “it’s important to me that this magazine feels accessible.” You do not hand it to a reader and go, “HERE, IT’S REALLY ACCESSIBLE!” Actual accessibility may keep people reading you, but the promise of being accessible doesn’t make a sale.
That aside, to me, this looks like a cool indie magazine that doesn’t use glossy paper and sells for $14 at my local newsstand next to all the hipster mags that make me feel old, but also happy for them that they’re still in business. I love the font for the title, as taken in a vacuum. It certainly seems like it looks like a magazine that might appeal to a younger reader, and also to an older reader who remembers when there were more indie magazines. I would read this magazine if it were on the table in front of me in the lobby of the Ace Hotel.
However, Part Deux:
It really does not look like Glamour. To the point where I think people who like to pick up Glamour at the airport or on the way to the beach might not be able to find it easily. I’m not sure if I feel like this is smart? I mean, I honestly don’t know: I’m not an expert. I get why someone might want to come in and change absolutely EVERYTHING, and I get why you might not want to evolve into this over like a year or whatever, but it’s a BIG CHANGE and I suspect it was a risky one that caused a lot of conversation at Conde Nast. I guess we’ll see if it pays off. What do you think?