Fall fashion mags: Are thicker books in vogue this season?

Find out which fall fashion titles increased their page count this year and by how much.

Fashion books can be the first category to lose ad pages during a recession, but they’re also the first to bounce back, says Lilia Lozinski, SVP, St. Joseph Media.

‘It’s almost like we’re the foot soldiers, going in and getting really beaten up,’ says Lozinski, who works with St. Joseph’s title Fashion. ‘All the different vertical categories behind us, as soon as they see the fashion category getting hit, it’s like ‘batten down the hatches because trouble’s coming.’ As things slowly start coming around, consumer confidence starts coming back and retail sales start increasing, then basically we’re the first ones to recover,’ she tells MiC.

If Canada’s top fashion magazines really are a barometer of the industry’s health, the outlook appears to be promising, yet capricious. Last year, the trend-driven magazines did not take a major dive in terms of pages in the midst of the recession, but neither is there a huge upswing for September 2010. This year, Fashion magazine closed at 206 pages, up 10 pages from 196 last year. Ad pages are up 18%, says Lozinski.

Elle Canada‘s September issue will be 250 pages, says Monica Drexler, sales director of Elle Canada and Elle Quebec. This means the mag is up 56 pages from 2009, when it printed at 194 pages.

Flare magazine, which last year celebrated its 30th anniversary issue in September with 264 pages, was down this year, closing at 232 pages, says Kerry Mitchell, VP and publisher, Rogers Consumer Publishing.

‘September was a little soft. It’s been a funny year because we’ve had these ups and downs; we’ve had a really strong summer,’ Mitchell tells MiC. ‘It’s just been that kind of year. Clients are working with shorter cycles, and we’re seeing some surprising peaks.’

In June, Flare was up by 25% in ad pages (including supplements and inserts) over the previous year, according to Leading National Advertisers Summary report for the month. The summer season was, in fact, an improvement for all three of the titles, as Elle‘s ad pages were up by 47% in June and Fashion gained 51%, which Lozinski credits to a surge in beauty product launches for the season.