New York magazine’s fashion site The Cut will debut a redesigned website Monday in an effort to simultaneously enhance the user experience, entice ad buyers and more efficiently house its expanding coverage areas.
Development for the revamped site, which took about six months, involved a heavy emphasis on mobile optimization in response to the evolving ways its readers are consuming news, said Stella Bugbee, editor-in-chief and president of The Cut. On both desktop and mobile, the refreshed aesthetic will be cleaner than its previous site, with significantly more white space, simpler font and an infrastructure that prioritizes imagery. The added benefit to a visual-heavy approach is it naturally lends itself to attracting fashion advertisers, which across New York magazine’s verticals already constitute a significant portion of its ad roster.
“We designed it to be a kind of luxury experience on your phone. I know that sounds silly, but the redesign makes reading The Cut this calming and stylish experience,” Bugbee said. “We revamped our whole visual approach — we’ve got a totally new style guide for how pictures are chosen, cropped and treated. The whole feeling is more cohesive.”
Cartier and Saks Fifth Avenue have both signed on to sponsor the launch of the new site, but The Cut will also benefit from advertising opportunities as a result of a forthcoming merger with New York magazine’s wellness vertical, Science of Us. Melissa Dahl, editor of Science of Us, will run her section within The Cut in the near future (Bugbee did not disclose a particular date) and all its content will be fully migrated to the new website.
A mockup of The Cut’s new site
Across both print and digital, fashion publications have continued to be particularly lucrative in the advertising space — just take a look at the ever-growing size of September issues and the rise of editorial e-commerce partnerships. Though The Cut has a small percentage of real estate in New York magazine’s bi-weekly print publication, Bugbee said having a more style-oriented site is vital to reflecting the aspirational experience of viewing print advertisements in magazines.
“We thought about making an environment in which ads will look amazing,” she said. “If you look at a fashion magazine, and flip through the pages, those ads are part of why you buy the magazine. They add to that experience. Striking that balance on the internet has become a challenge and our new design comes closer to that than ever.”
The site debuting on Monday is only the first iteration, Bugbee said. In the coming two months, it will continue to evolve, with soon to be announced enhanced design features and functionalities largely created with advertisers in mind. The aim is that new capabilities like full-screen takeovers and video pop-ups will be a selling point for future partners. On the reader side, customization will be a major focus, particularly on mobile, an area Bugbee said the team is still working on.
The Cut’s refined image is also opening itself up to new partnerships, including serving as one of Facebook’s first publishers for its new “Watch” feature, a section on the platform dedicated exclusively to video. Video has been a significant focus for The Cut, beginning in June when it launched its first original series, “Face Race,” focused on beauty. Its first video as part of the Facebook partnership, which will launch Monday in tandem with the site, introduces a forthcoming series based on women dressing for their body types, hosted by The Cut’s fashion market editor, Lindsay Peoples.
Looking to the site’s editorial future, Bugbee said cultivating stories rooted in women’s empowerment is a major focus, and a mission that is ingrained within the new website. Featured sections on the site now include style, self, culture and power, and Bugbee said its editorial content will continue to push the boundaries of a traditional style publication. The Cut has already set itself apart for its witty and provocative tone, and now Bugbee plans to further this mission through moving into other areas like politics, current affairs and health.
“I think The Cut has an interesting voice in the landscape, and is well-positioned to be a real leading voice for women in the coming years and beyond. I’m very glad the redesign finally reflects how that should look,” she said.