Though the magazine’s shuttering has been all but a sure thing for months now, it’s now official: Mashable reports that Lucky magazine stopped publishing content as of Friday, and that the entirety of the editorial staff has been laid off.
While the e-commerce site/publication has been struggling for some time, things looked particularly dire at the end of September, when The Lucky Group was sued by WeWork after they didn’t move into a space they’d had custom designed for their needs. “Lucky has informed WeWork that it does not intend to utilize the office space that WeWork custom constructed and configured in accordance with Lucky’s unique requirements,” the suit, which asked for $470,000 in damages, alleged. Despite this, as Mashable notes, “Until recently, the remaining staff was still churning out largely unseen editorial content online, even hiring new editors in hopes of revamping the brand.”
They also add that part of the slow demise of the company was due to their hope that they were valuable enough to be acquired by a larger media company—specifically, AOL.
One they were eyeing was AOL, which agreed to observe LuckyMag.com’s traffic for a couple of months. When AOL decided to go in a different direction, Beachmint’s CEO and co-founder Josh Berman finally pulled the last trigger this week.
Founded in 2000 by Kim France, Lucky’s spin-off from Condé Nast was publicized as a natural progression for the publication, a chance for them to team up with Beachmint to blur the already blurry line in fashion between editorial and advertising. As The New York Times reported when France was replaced as editor by Brandon Holley:
It was, in retrospect, ahead of its time, a print rendering of a shopping portal on the Web. It was well received by both the news media and advertisers, in part because it was a well executed magazine that did not take itself too seriously and in part because Ms. France had significant magazine credentials. She had worked at Sassy, Elle, New York, 7 Days and Spin.
It seems quaint to think about now, but at the time, Lucky’s decision to unabashedly celebrate the deep ties between fashion editors and fashion producers was marked with skepticism, though the magazine won Ad Age’s Magazine of the Year in 2003. “The culture warriors in the audience can start hand-wringing, if they haven’t already,” they wrote. “But since its late 2000 launch, Conde Nast Publications’ Lucky has invented a genre, made its influence visible elsewhere—seen any eye-candy product pages in magazines lately?—and, not least, delighted marketers and readers.”
Conversely, their decision last year to go entirely to e-commerce didn’t provoke much more than resignation about how money is made off of content in the 21st century.
That doesn’t mean that it was an easy change for those working at the site, sources tell Mashable.
It was an awkward and unsuccessful transition for the site’s editors, who were used to refining copy and suddenly felt like saleswomen pushing product. Beachmint, similarly, was frustrated by its inability to set direction for the new shopping site.
The Lucky Group has yet to release a statement about their closing, and given their silence about the company’s status over the past several months, it seems unlikely that they will. Its third and last editor Eva Chen, who left in April and now works at Instagram, has yet to remark upon the end of Lucky either.
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Image via Bryan Bedder/Getty for Lucky Magazine