Sound the Alarm! Fashion Magazines Are 'Losing Their Identities'

A New York Post Staff Report published this week alleges that an extreme injustice is occurring in this country. It's not "education, national defense or the lack of gold medals in skiing during the Winter Olympics." It's not even the cost of a liter of orange juice or the fact that every curb on the east coast is an ice block right now. It's the state of fashion magazines.

The Post has chosen to compare recent issues of W, Harper's Baazar, Elle, InStyle, and...Time magazine in an attempt to bemoan the plight of the modern mag. Their issues with these issues? Of Harper's Baazar:

That Missoni outfit you say is a key piece of a spring wardrobe is advertised 35 pages later. Coincidence? Just askin.'

Of Miley Cyrus on the cover of W:

Sir, didn't her 15 minutes tick away in, like, September? Right as you were planning your … March issue? Bad idea.

Of Elle, which should be praised for including a piece from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

We want more of the talented Adichie, and suggest the mag do a spread on her fashion line, much of which is designed by her with the help of tailors. Readers need a break from the same tired looks, and from the industry's go-to tales of models doing charity work and rich girls vying to be taken seriously.

Of InStyle:

One wonders how the editorial meetings go at such magazines since there's no discernible direction in terms of defining a single seasonal trend.

If we were to ignore the fact that none of these criticisms are new (fashion magazines have long stolen each others ideas, talked about models, advertised content they also editorialized and chosen boring cover models), it's the strange final paragraph celebrating Time's decision to publish stories on nonviolent drug offenses, six-year high schools and a controversial cover story on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that makes the least sense. "Bravo," says the Post, their literal last word of this treatise somehow predicated on the idea that fashion magazines should be compared to a news publication that has been struggling to keep its footing in its own market.

The theme of this piece (to which no individual would add their name) seems to be "We get a lot of magazines in the office. Why don't we open them and write down our thoughts, none of which are new and all of which seem to be based upon the idea that W magazine should be more like Time magazine (a publication who recently chose the Pope to be Person of the Year) because its parent company owns InStyle, a fashion magazine we also hate?" Good theme.

Image via Harper's Baazar, W and Instyle