September: The Fashion Industry's Answer to January
The arrival of the September issue of a fashion magazine strikes fervor into any style lover's heart. Although their size typically doesn't allow them to fit into the average mailbox, the joy that a subscriber feels upon finding that thick issue on their doorstep cannot be matched. This bound stack of glossy paper signals something momentous: the beginning of a new year in fashion.
What is so great about these editions? How is a September issue different from any other? Why does any of this matter?
At its most basic, the September issue of a fashion publication is used to showcase the Autumn/Winter Ready to Wear collections for the first time, as well as some couture creations. Editors work tirelessly throughout the year to ready this issue, combing through designer pieces and continuously editing to ensure that only the most innovative and eye-catching garments make it into the magazine.
September is the start of a new year in the fashion world, a time to rediscover style and explore new avenues in apparel. Designers turn out large collections for the Autumn/Winter season, often using this period as a time to redefine their aesthetic.
If a designer is lucky enough to be in favor of one of the editors of said magazines, their collection will be featured in an editorial spread. However, these pages are not the only ones that are significant. Ad pages account for most of the gigantic size of these publications. Although Vogue may continuously boast, year after year, that they are publishing their biggest September issue ever, it is only because they have managed to sell more ad pages to companies both inside and outside the fashion realm.
Typically the battle for ad pages is fought between Vogue and InStyle, two of America's largest women's magazines. The reason that industry insiders count the number of ad pages is to get an idea of how the magazine is faring. A successful magazine will be able to print more ad pages because the size of its readership and the quality of the demographic it serves will draw advertisers who want to spend their money to reach that specific audience. The size of the typical September issue makes the differences in advertising power between magazines much more noticeable.
One of the most exciting parts of receiving a September issue is discovering who was chosen to grace its cover. With the advent of the web, these cover stars are often revealed in advance, but the joy of reading the accompanying article still remains. Often, the celebrities chosen for the cover are those whose fandom has recently exploded or those whose grasp on fame has lasted for decades. This September, Vogue's choice to feature nine supermodels on its cover was particularly sweet. American magazines don't often feature models on their covers anymore, a sad aftereffect of celebrity worship. For nine beautiful women who model for a living to land the most coveted cover in America is a grand achievement. Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Fei Fei Sun, Arizona Muse, Edie Campbell, Imaan Hammam, Vanessa Axente and Andreea Diaconu were chosen for their command of both the camera and social media.
Now glorified in the eye-opening documentary, The September Issue, this bible of the fashion world continues to leave captive subscribers in awe. Its exquisite (and always expensive) photo spreads leave the creatively-inclined drooling, while its contributors wow their readers with their cunning use of words. Year after year the September issue of any women's magazine is awaited by those who yearn to know what fashion insiders think the coming year holds in store. This coming month's edition will surely not disappoint.