Thursday, December 4, 2008

Staying in Style.com

Style.com bills itself as the home of style on the Internet, as well as the online counterpart for Vogue and W Magazine. The site provides countless resources for the fashion crowd, including video presentations and slide-shows from every runway. But interestingly enough, Style.com does little to represent the magazines it was created for.

Put out by mega-publishers Conde Nast, Style.com is an interesting example of what magazines have done right and wrong in creating a website. By providing a supplement to their magazines, Conde Nast still leaves a purpose for their print publication, including articles and editorial spreads. But while there is a lot of multimedia exclusive to the site, there is very little in the way of the magazine's articles archived on the site. Unlike New York Magazine, who's website has a clear connection to the layout and content of its print counterpart, Vogue and Style.com feel very disconnected.

Moving online has changed the purpose of fashion magazines. Style.com has every picture of every article of clothing shown at every major fashion show for the season. Anyone from a New York City stylist to a 13-year-old in Missouri can now have access to the front rows of the runway--an impossibility 10 years ago. Though an advancement in technology, it also puts magazines in a compromising position. By giving their audience absolutely everything, fashion editors, once needed to view the clothes from the front row and make decisions for their audience, are now obsolete while any person with an Internet connection can make decisions for themselves. Now magazines have to serve their reader's whims instead of the top tier of editors speaking down to its audience.

Conde Nast has been accused of being behind the times, technologically speaking. According to Big Money, Conde Nast has been notoriously slow to equip their offices with new technology, and it's understood that CN owner, Si Newhouse, believes websites to be less prestigious than print publications. Whether Newhouse wants to face it or not, online is the future and it's time for Conde Nast to get in style.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, have you looked at Style.com recently? That picture you posted is several months old - they've had a huge redesign since then!

The Magraker said...

You're right--I've updated with a newer screenshot. But despite that I was referring to the redesigned site, and I still feel there's a huge divorce between the magazine and its online counterpart.

Michael J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael J said...

I'll be surprised if Vogue print can last past 2020. the technologically-armed future will eventually shed archaic means of communication. The internet is proving to be a fundamental instrument in changing the ways by which any individual can disseminate their ideas. Editors who dictate their supposedly influential notions of 'taste' and 'style' from sealed glass boxes situated in the great Manhattan bubble need to get serious about the impending internet age if they are ever going to stay competitive with those less affected ideas from Missouri.