More, a magazine for "women of style and substance," has known for years that its readers have way more money than anyone's given them credit for; the publication's readership reportedly has the highest household income of any woman's magazine. Now, it seems like More is finally acknowledging its true demographic.
The wealth of More's readership isn't surprising. The magazine's targeted to women over 40, specifically successful women over 40, a demographic that might be less "sexy" than the 18-34 year old demographic its competitors court, but one that obviously has more money to burn than those who read a more popular (and aspirational) publication like Vogue. February's issue, featuring Drew Barrymore on the cover, is the first following the magazine's new redesign, which has raised the price of More slightly and seen its circulation drop because of it.
"This is all part of the plan," More publisher Jeannine Shao Collins told Women's Wear Daily last week:
"We are not a magazine for all women between the ages of 35 and 54," Collins said. "We are a magazine for who we like to call 'the fabulous women.' We like to keep it to those women who are professional, managerial, with a really high income."
(Cough cough Redbook.)
And to AdWeek:
"Even though we have the highest household income of any women's magazine, we felt that we weren't being given enough credit for it," said Collins. "We want it to be more obvious aesthetically."
That shows in their new issue, devoted to "reinvention." Though the whole thing certainly looks fancier (which in magazine speak usually translates to pared down pages with simpler fonts, photoshoots that look more W than Good Housekeeping, Wall Street Journal-esque contributor headshots, an increase in ads from luxury retailers), the magazine's letter from editor Lesley Jane Seymour just barely mentions the changes. No need to scare off any of those wealthy readers with sudden moves!
And speaking of changes, we've decided to give More a little face-lift–just sumpin' to make it more luxurious and fresh. Still the same content you know and love, but with some new columns added and the visual presentation reimagined.
(More's website, however, remains in need of some "reinvention," though apparently they're working on that.)
The Barrymore issue includes a brief Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired fashion spread (grey... get it?) and a spread on "leisure suits" a.k.a. slobwave. The "reinvention" continues by way of new contributors, including celebrity-profiler extrodinaire Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who interviewed the actress/"supermogul." There's also an piece by Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, about "The Righteous Anger of Girls" ("I write fiction for a living, and just about all of my novels are based on the actions of women behaving fiercely," he notes), an interview with director Ava DuVernay and a profile on women who have been sexually assaulted at college (a required feature for any magazine publishing any kind of content in 2014 or 2015), with a contribution by Jennifer Baumgardner. If this is More's idea of reinvention, it's pretty decent.
There are a few strong hints of exactly who the new More is trying to cater to, like in a profile of Wendy Weston, a woman who apparently quit her job as a figure-skating coach and then "went on food stamps and worked the door of a buddy's nightclub" to get her luxury picnic planning company off the ground. Before you even get to that content, just the cover itself explains where they're at: it's Barrymore of course, sandblasted to all hell, photographed by the very-hip-and-in-demand Ellen von Unwerth. Barrymore's promoting her line of make-up sold at Walmart, Flower Beauty. Is Walmart where the More reader shops? No. But Drew's an entrepreneur, and the fact that her makeup was done "using Flower cosmetics" only has to appear in very very small print next to one of several perfect photos of her in this issue.
Image via Ellen von Unwerth/More