InStyle has ramped up promotional efforts for its September issue this year, riding on the coattails of editor-in-chief Laura Brown’s widespread popularity.
The glossy, which held no similar events last year, held a talk — titled “You’re Gonna Make It After All,” focused on how to succeed in fashion — with Brown at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble on Monday night. Along with hosting the talk, the event celebrated fall fashion and the September issue, covered by Selena Gomez. On Thursday, the magazine will host a #GetInStyle event, in partnership with New York mall Brookfield Place. Incorporating special discounts and editor-curated looks, the daylong event will encourage people to shop the mall’s stores and will culminate with a happy hour sponsored by Veuve Clicquot. Readers can attend alongside industry folks, as long as they get a “passport” stamped at five or more mall stores on the way.
“It’s the cult of Laura Brown,” said Kevin Martinez, the senior vice president of fashion at Time Inc., when asked about the uptick in promotion. “She came into Time Inc. with a lot of fanfare, and she’s changing the way we do things.” Her significant social scope contributed to that fanfare: Brown has 146,000 followers on Instagram, more than any other editor in the industry.
The September 2017 cover of InStyle, featuring Selena Gomez
That criteria is crucial for this next generation of editors, said Martinez, but Brown’s real-life social prowess also helps. “Look at the contributors page of any other publication, and then look at InStyle’s — it covers two pages, with about 60 well-known contributors,” he said, referring to the September issue in particular, which boasts a wide-ranging list that includes Marc Jacobs, Cindy Crawford, LL Cool J, Roxane Gay and Stephen Colbert.
Many of those connections come via Brown, who is regularly seen cavorting with Hollywood and fashion’s elite on social media. The result is a far more diverse array than is common among fashion rags, which tend to feature only those with direct ties to the industry or a flashy pedigree.
“Everybody’s welcome now. It’s a very democratic brand,” said Martinez.
That viewpoint seems to be paying off. The September issue welcomed 12 new advertisers, including Celine and Valentino, featured alongside other luxury advertisers like Fendi which have jumped on board since Brown debuted her first issue in February. Subscriptions for the glossy are up 2.85 percent year-over-year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
Martinez and his colleagues are banking on these IRL events and opportunities for readers to connect with Brown, to boost that readership further: “Everyone’s going to get a little a taste of InStyle.” If successful, he said, similar events will be rolled out to other cities in the coming year.