It's not uncommon to hear about print publications transitioning content to the Web, but Style.com turned history on its head this week with the inaugural issue of "Style.com/Print." Described as "a magazine for fashion obsessives by fashion obsessives," the magazine aims to unite the speed of a digital format with "the permanent beauty of the printed page."
At first, we were a little skeptical about the concept for the magazine -- why, after all, would a successful online venture want to mess with the "dying" print medium? But perusing its 215 pages, the glossy makes a convincing argument for being something quite new in the crowded fashion magazine market. Candidly, it might even provide hope that print has a future. Here, some interesting aspects to look out for.
THE COVER: Lindsey Wixson covers the debut issue in a retro-glam portrait by photographer Theo Wenner, complete with bright red lipstick on her signature pucker. But Wixson's quote -- included in white type at the bottom -- is possibly even more provocative than the photo, and has the same effect as a bloggy headline of sorts.
"The night after shoot I had like blue hair in finger waves and I went to meet Marilyn at Nobu and when I walked in they thought I was Charlize Theron. Oh and I also did go-sees for Calvin Klein. I showed up and the guy was like what have you been modeling for a minute? I was like, yeah."
What's most striking is that the blurb doesn't make Wixson sound particularly intelligent or even all that "hip," but, brilliantly, speaks directly to the chattiness of the magazine and its audience. The entire feature on Wixson, which follows the rising star model from dentist's appointments to snacking at her home in Kansas, is narrated by her short, haiku-like lines.
THE FASHION MONTH-FOCUS: The magazine has its share of glamorous interviews (including one with Donatella Versace) like any other glossy, but the majority of its content focuses on writer's experiences and observations during the Spring 2012 fashion shows, which gives the whole book an interesting "fashion-as-it-happens" feel. Writers seem somewhat less interested in predicting what the masses will be wearing next season than in offering up the thrill and chaos of the shows themselves.
THE "PAGE COUNTS": Another unusual aspect of Style.com/Print is the significant role its readership seems to play in forming content. For example, Spring 2012's top collections are arranged by page view count, and given captions from readers.
THE LAYOUT: This is the first time a magazine has mimicked the layout of a website and not the other way around. The connection is particularly clear on lead section pages which are topped by graphics made to look like drop-down menus and links.
THE PARTY PICS: Most magazines' party or society picture sections tend to feel a little stale by the time they hit newsstands. Style.com gave new life to the typical party picture section by identifying familiar night owls -- fashionable folks making the rounds at all the parties -- and then listing all the occasions that staff spotted them at this season.