Newest glossy fashion mags target baby boomers, teens
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The newest magazines are appealing to women who can't relate to young, stick-thin supermodels. The publisher of Ladies' Home Journal is seeking to win older readers with More, a bimonthly magazine focusing mostly on fashion and beauty for women over 40.
More's debut on newsstands Tuesday followed the launch last month of Girl, which is geared for teen-age girls of all colors and sizes.
Girl is the daughter of Mode, a fashion magazine for heavier women that has doubled its circulation in just 18 months and helped prove that publishers can find a thriving audience for women's style beyond the willowy, twentysomething runway crowd.
Advertisers have certainly caught on, with General Mills, Chrysler and several drug makers pitching their wares alongside clothing and cosmetics companies in the magazines.
For its part, More promises a different look by not using any models under 40 on its editorial pages, said editor in chief Myrna Blyth.
"We all know that women over 40 used to feel that the best part of their life was over -- their youthful attractiveness, their fertility -- and that just isn't so," said Blyth, who is also editor of Ladies' Home Journal, published by Meredith Corp.
Following the 40+ lifestyle
More's first issue features actress Cybill Shepherd on the cover, a fall fashion spread by 1970s modeling icon Cheryl Tiegs and tips for better-looking eyes, lips and hair. In addition to fashion and celebrity profiles, More will have regular features on travel, money, sex and health.
Marian Young, a 42-year-old store manager with Ann Taylor in Manhattan, said a magazine for female baby boomers like her must celebrate their diversity compared to over-40 women of past generations.
"Women in their 40s are not menopausal. Many of them are still having children. Many of them are far more educated, experienced and worldly," Young said. "When they always said the 30s were your best decade, I don't think they told the truth."
'Style beyond size'
Of the hundreds of annual magazine launches, More stands a good chance for success because its publisher already has strong relationships with female readers and advertisers through Ladies' Home Journal, said Peter Appert, a media analyst with BT Alex. Brown in San Francisco.
More hopes its initial circulation of 250,000 will double by next summer. Such a response would mirror the success of Mode, whose plus-size cover models have captured lots of eyes on newsstands and reflect the move by retailers and designers to attract heavier women.
Sales of clothing size 16 and up jumped 20 percent to $23 billion from 1994 to 1997, according to NPD Group Inc., a market research firm in Port Washington, New York. Big retailers including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lands' End and Liz Claiborne in recent years have been offering trendier designs in larger sizes.
"For too long, there was sort of an implied dowdiness, if you will, associated with plus sizes," said Allen Robinson, manager of consumer marketing for Atlanta-based consultant Kurt Salmon Associates. "They want the same level of fashion and styling that's available to the normal misses' sizes."
By focusing on "style beyond size," as its covers declare, Mode has doubled its monthly circulation to 500,000 since its March 1997 debut.
"It's a very pragmatic, sensible and strong business decision to speak to the 60 percent of American women who are size 12 and up," said Nancy Nadler LeWinter, who serves as co-publication director for both Mode and Girl with co-founder Julie Lewit-Nirenberg.
LeWinter hopes Girl, the quarterly spinoff for teens, will enjoy similar success by aiming at girls from petite to plus. Girl also will feature models of all ethnicities, reflecting the fact that one-third of teen-age girls are black, Asian or Latino, LeWinter said.
"We wanted a magazine that felt literally like the schoolyard," she said.
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