Vogue began in 1892 as, what some may consider, the arbiter of what constituted high fashion. After all, the magazine’s reporters were the “eyes” for readers who otherwise wouldn’t know what the new Prada line looked like or which young designer was taking the fashion world by storm.
But now that the Internet and social media have given people virtual access to those shows through apps like Instagram and Twitter, Vogue is looking to drive a conversation around fashion – not just to tell people about the fashion world.
As that evolution to more engaged and knowledgeable audience took place, Vogue’s Digital Creative Director Sally Singer told Fusion’s Alicia Menendez, people could “really talk about what you saw, what it meant, how it was going to change things, what was important…You could start to build up a culture of fashion.”
And according to Singer, that makes a site like Vogue more important than ever. Now that there’s so much content accessible online, Singer thinks people are realizing the value of having a voice like Vogue to cut through the chaff.
“There’s so much out there now,” she said, “they actually need the authority of Vogue.”
“They still want direction from people who’ve been doing it with a little more access, a little more authority and maybe just a different point of view,” Singer added.
While Vogue’s primary goal might still be to “be the global authority on fashion in English,” as Singer put it, the magazine has made a conscious effort to cover a variety of topics that range from politics to food.
“It’s all about trying to have a more nuanced and exquisite and majestic view of the world,” she said.
But Singer is also adamant about the fact that there is no such thing as being “too smart” for fashion.
“I don’t think that [a love of fashion] in any way diminishes my ability to think about politics and to think about the world,” she told Menendez. “I always say, the more you know about fashion, and the more you kind of have an uncomplicated love of it, where it’s just fun and exciting, and the more confident you feel in your clothes…If you walk out of your house knowing you look great because you just love what you put on, whatever it is, doesn’t have to be expensive, doesn’t have to be sexy, doesn’t have to be anything…you’re not thinking about whether your bum looks big in your trousers, you’re thinking about what’s going on in Congress, you’re thinking about Iran, you’re thinking about other things.”
In other words, being smart about fashion “allows you to not think about it,” and to think about other things instead, Singer said.
To go along with that way of thinking, Vogue is expanding their online offerings to try to “move past making content that repeats content that’s already in the magazine,” Singer said. They’ve introduced a series of original short videos with celebrities, for instance, where fashion plays a role but doesn’t always take center stage.
Ultimately, Singer said, “When I think of Vogue…I think of clothes moving through the world. It was always about the movement of fashion through a world that was so much more exciting than even fashion knew what to do with.”