“Before it’s in Fashion, it’s in Vogue!”

Since I am a fashion interested woman and a shopping-loving girl, I was quite motivated about the Zara Case study assignment last week. The fact, which astonished me the most, was that Zara introduces twice a week new fashion lines with a bunch of new collections. Besides the question of how Zara is able to produce so fast, I asked myself “Where did they get all the inspiration from for designing so many new styles?”, “Who are these creative people?” and “Who actually decides that Brocade fabric, broderie anglaise and sumptuous satin are the „must-have“ trends this spring?“

You might think of famous fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld or John Galliano who are working for these so called haute couture houses such as Chanel or Givenchy. But you will be surprised what will appear if you google “Latest Fashion Trends 2012”. – Surprisingly, the first result that pops up is the homepage of the Vogue magazine.

The Vogue magazine, founded in 1892 by Arthur Baldwin Turnure, is a fashion and lifestyle magazine that is published montly by Condé Nast. The ultimate fashion authority, Vogue has been setting the standard for more than 100 years, which has made the magazine the best selling fashion magazine in the world.  Each issue delivers the latest in beauty, style, culture, health, fitness and celebrities. It also includes the newest Fashion editions for the coming seasons as well as political and economic articles.

Since 1988 ,the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour has led the magazine to its high status and reputation among fashion publications these days. In order to do so, she has made the magazine focus on new and more accessible ideas of “fashion” for a wider audience. She also supports emerging designers, she has helped to preserve the magazine’s dominant position of influence through what Time called her own “considerable influence over American fashion”. Wintour’s presence at fashion shows is often taken as an indicator of the designer’s profile within the industry.

Runway shows don’t start until she arrives. Designers succeed because she anoints them. Trend are created or crippled on her command.”, claims Time.

Anna Wintour, noted for her trademark bob and her practice of wearing sunglasses indoors, is doubtless one of the most influential figures in the global fashion industry, with the power to make OR break a designer’s career. A demonstration of her pervasive position in the fashion industry: She was able to have Milan fashion week rescheduled once so she could go home before attending the shows in Paris. It is also rumored that she influenced Kate Middleton’s choice of the designer for her wedding dress.

The power that Vogue (and its editor) has had over many generations of women, spawned a plethora of other women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Despite the abundance, no other publication has been able to achieve the lasting influence and success of Vogue. It was described by Caroline Weber in The New York Times in December 2006 as “the worlds most influential fashion magazine”.

Vogue’s wide-reaching influence stems from various sources, including the persona and achievements of its most famous editor, its ability to reflect political discourse through fashion and editorial articles, and its move to emerging economies.

The current editor of the british edition of Vogue also stated that “Vogue’s power is universally acknowledged. It’s the place everybody wants to be if they want to be in the world of fashion”. Around 85 % of the magazine’s readers agree that „Vogue is the Fashion bible“.

As a branch-off of American Vogue, British Vogue is a magazine whose success is based on its advertising rather than its sales revenue. In 2007, it ran about 2000 pages of advertising at an average of  £16,000 up to £22,000 a page. It is the most profitable British magazine and also the most profitable magazine of Condé Nast.

For sure, Vogue’s influence is amazingly widepread – even in politics: The American Vogue used the newest first lady, Michelle Obama, as an iconic figure featured on one of the covers. The significance of this cover brings to life the idea that politics of fashion is alive. Michelle Obama uses style as a way to open up a new door to communication and to share her ideas to a target audience,women.

Vogue’s success in attracting its audience, results in continual high readership and therefore it does not widely try to appeal to other audiences, such as men. Many of the women who read the Vogue magazine, particularly those perhaps who are not regular readers may buy Vogue for aspiration and distraction purposes. Although they are not being able to afford the clothes and products being advertised,  it gives them something to aspire towards to, or perhaps an insight into that lifestyle. While reading the magazine, the readers can feel as if they had more money, or lived the model lifestyle, reading about the lives of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and all the others in this „Glamour world“.

Finally, I could find the answer for my question “Who actually decides that Brocade fabric, broderie anglaise and sumptuous satin are the „must-have“ trends this spring?“ and for sure, it was neither Karl Lagerfeld nor John Galliano!