"VAIN is an online and print lifestyle magazine that applauds the appearance and achievements of young women who are beautiful and somewhat flawed."
While you might not think that any publisher would gravitate towards a title that manages to evoke both narcissism and the cardiovascular system, in fact there are two: the quarterly "that combines the innocence of art with the modernity of the world," and this one.
The ladymag Vain is aimed at women ages 18 to 38, seeks to provide smart and socially-conscious content, and will launch in print this fall. It also seems to have been conceived by a team of White House press secretaries skilled in saying a lot while revealing nothing. Can it succeed where Jane and Missbehave foundered and in a time when established print mags go deeper into the red every day? Well, it's hard to say. Clearly, they're hoping to capture the ethos in a different way - not by being the cool girls on the block, but by mixing traditional content with a more empowering (and certainly more earnest) bent...and by baffling its readers. Its description is infuriatingly vague - "VAIN Magazine debuts as the premiere source for the everyday woman" - but even having said this, a few things confused us even more. Take, for instance, this sentence: "Catering to issues all about you, this magazine for ages 18-38 is the place for empowerment, inspiration, venting and tips that will guide you on your path toward perfection." Wait, what? What happened to "flawed?" I guess it's about fixing rather than celebrating? Maybe the next sentence will clear things up! Oh, wait. "The magazine highlights celebrities, career professionals, the latest trends in beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and delivers expert advice on everything the VAIN woman desires to know."
Founder Rachelle Gauthier has an extensive publishing and fashion background. Here's what she told MediaBistro: "VAIN, the women's magazine all about you, takes pride in versatility of our readers...She may be an artist, a sports enthusiast, an educator, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, or even an emerging designer. And despite her desires or struggles, VAIN will fill her with images and words that will keep her striving for more." Said images and words, according to their website, include interviews with M.I.A. and Lindsay Robinson, videos, liquor talk, and, technology reviews. There's an emphasis on woman-centric activism, but no shortage of beauty-and-fashion - although as yet, "your man" has not made an appearance. For their launch, the mag is rolling out a bunch of events designed, as their publicist explained it to MediaBistro, "to encourage individuals to start taking pride not only in their appearance, but also their community...Partnering with foundations is a way for the VAIN reader to find balance and invest time and money in things/projects outside herself." All this is very well - but still pretty vague. "Explains" the publisher in the press release, "I wanted to create a publication that celebrated uncelebrated women and provide a platform for young females to find inspiration...We're all VAIN in some capacity. We take pride in our appearance, profession, education, health, community and environment, and we invest time and money."
Is there a place for a smart fashion magazine today? Definitely. And could it be Vain? Depending on what the hell they're talking about, we shall see.
Indulge Yourself With The Launch Of Vain -A New Chic Magazine All About You [FPR]
Vain (The Women's Magazine)
Vain (The Arts Quarterly)
VAIN, A Magazine For Women, Launches [MediaBistro]