NEW YORK: No longer the exclusive domain of designers hawking their newest creations, Fashion Week is fast becoming a popular forum for magazine launches.
This year's event was blanketed with four publications from already familiar brands. Time magazine rolled out its new twice-yearly Style & Design, while Women's Wear Daily, Fashion Week producer 7th on Sixth, and Us Weekly distributed glossies devoted to coverage of the catwalks and the front rows.
The launch strategy follows the lead of Us, which premiered Us Daily at collections last fall. "We want to basically let the fashion and beauty categories know that Us is interested in covering them, both in editorial and in advertising," said Stuart Zakim, corporate communications head for Wenner Media.
Time's new magazine coincides with the fall and winter fashion shows.
In addition to being mailed to select subscribers, the debut issue, with content ranging from a piece on architect Daniel Libeskind to a Q&A with Sarah Jessica Parker about shoes, was distributed outside the tents at Bryant Park and at other Manhattan hot spots.
"Throughout our 80-year history, we've been the source people turn to for information on a variety of topics, fashion being one of those," said Debra Richman, deputy director of public affairs for Time. "It's not a category that we cover every week."
Just the opposite is true of Women's Wear Daily, which offered Inside New York, a 36-page pullout section to bolster its already close scrutiny of Fashion Week.
"It's expanded coverage," said Fairchild Publications spokesperson Andrea Kaplan. "We're there because this is the lifeblood of our magazine."
Kaplan and the others weren't fretful that their titles would be lost amid the din of an event that's all about getting attention. "Time is a really strong brand," said Richman, adding that the company enlisted LaForce & Stevens, a PR agency with fashion experience, for the launch.
Zakim said Us' approach to news during Fashion Week mirrored the successful weekly's strategy, which is why he's not worried about newcomer The Daily, published by 7th on Sixth.
"(Us Daily) is done in the tongue-and-cheek style of Us magazine," he said. "People crave it. It's not about what's shown, but who's there."