Shopping Content Won't Save 'Vogue' or Condé Nast
Exclusive reporting on what's going on at British Vogue as Edward Enninful prepares to exit.
In the Back Row chat: Subscribers are sounding off on the just-announced 2024 spring Costume Institute exhibit, which informs the Met Gala dress code: Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.
Ahead in today’s issue of Back Row:
Exclusive reporting on what’s happening behind-the-scenes at British Vogue.
A look at Vogue publisher Condé Nast’s 5 percent headcount cuts.
Why Condé Nast’s plan to derive more revenue from e-commerce is risky.
The latest issue of British Vogue pays tribute to Vogue House, the magazine’s office building for the past 65 years. It’s where Anna Wintour started her first editor-in-chief job in 1986, when she took over the title from outgoing editor Beatrix Miller. One of her first orders of business, as I report in ANNA: The Biography, was firing many staff and contributors, so determined was she to make over the magazine in the image of a modern working woman, impress Condé Nast executives, and get back to New York to take over American Vogue.
Obviously, her strategy worked.
And so, it is perhaps something of a dystopian future realized that she now sits atop the transformation of the title yet again in her role as Condé Nast’s chief content officer and the global editorial director of Vogue, overseeing staff cuts as a matter of course because this is media in the year 2023.
A source told me over the summer that Enninful’s vision was thought by Condé Nast leadership to be too niche for a global brand. This helps explain his departure (his last issue will be March) and Anna staying, and suggests that staff changes may have something to do with resetting the vision at the magazine.
However, they’re also being driven by dwindling budgets. Management started calling staffers and freelancers to inform them they’d been cut before Edward Enninful’s replacement, Chioma Nnadi, even started in the new head of editorial content role on October 9, another source told me recently. For instance, the position of jewelry editor was cut months ago. The newly created role of “luxury editor” will take on those duties, according to an online job description, along with interiors, art, watches, and accessories. In the old days, several editors would have overseen all of that.