Vogue weighs in, literally, with September issue

A previous Vogue September issue, seen on the left, was 850 pages long.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Fashion magazines seem to be en vogue again. After several years of sluggish advertising, the glossies have just posted ad sales for their all-important September issues -- and the numbers are looking fat. Vogue saw a 13 percent ad page increase over last year. With 658 pages of ads, it will be Vogue's thickest September issue since the financial crisis.

Mark Garrison reports.

Mark Garrison: It’s so heavy it’s practically a piece of carry-on luggage. Every year, media pundits dust off old jokes about mailmen getting hernias and skinny models too frail to lift the magazine they appear in. At $165,000 for a full-page ad, Vogue must be raking it in.

Not exactly, says Steve Cohn, editor-in-chief of Media Industry Newsletter.

Steve Cohn: You can’t totally judge a book by its cover or a book by its ad pages anymore.

Almost nobody pays the sticker price for a full-page ad. Publishers make deals and do discounts, so the fatness of the issue doesn’t track perfectly with revenue. And why would a fashion or luxury brand want to be in a magazine so stuffed with ads, where it’s hard to stand out? Adweek news editor Lucia Moses explains.

Lucia Moses: When you’re in the September issue, you’re in very good company. There’s definitely a prestige factor of being in there.

For certain brands, skipping Vogue would be unfashionable, maybe even unprofitable.

In New York, I'm Mark Garrison for Marketplace.

About the author

Mark Garrison is a reporter and substitute host for Marketplace, based in New York.


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