Condé Nast has done a great job of framing his new role as some kind of promotion. But you typically release news on a summer Friday when you want to bury it.
The rapid decline of the cultural relevance of magazines is remarkable. I think about how TV, for example, has evolved, yet has remained an important cultural touchstone. I guess one could argue that it's the platform and not the content that has changed -- but unlike with TV, the content of magazines from decades past is vastly superior to what's available online, in my opinion. As you say, the relentless pursuit of ad money has made everything the same, everything mediocre. Mediocrity is the hallmark of Conde Nast this decade. As an editor who just entered my 40s -- but counted on a career in magazines when I started out in the '00s, it's all so incredibly bleak.
It seems to me that there is a big lack of real creativity in magazines, everything is ad driven. There is no research for newness; the pressure to appraise the advertisers is too strong and you have to talk or feature them. The end result is magazines that lack personality and offer the same articles. I remember the 90s, where magazines were different and spoke to their market in a very specific way: I-D, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Elle, their readers were very diverse but they were also more free from ad money and could publish (more or less) what they wanted. This editorial freedom gave us moments that contributed to shape fashion history and culture. There is no cultural contribution from magazines now. I feel that Enninful has tried to elevate the level of Vogue UK as much as he could without any support by Conde' Nast.
Google traffic being down is super interesting — on the marketing side of things I’ve been hearing TikTok is the new search engine. And just like they were for Instagram, seems like publishers are behind on a talent strategy for that shift, too!
He’s probably bored! Slash wants to earn more money. Vogue is filled with puff pieces these days, i unsubscribed last year after 20 (!!) years of msg subscription
Thanks for this analysis!
I'm very sad about it all. I love what he's done with Vogue considering the times we live in. I hope the decision was completely his but it's just all so sad for mags & print. I don't want to live in a land of tik tok.