How the curiosity around Kylie Jenner helped Vogue Australia set a new record

Editor-in-chief Edwina McCann: ‘We want to continue making sure we build our Gen Z audience’

The cover star of Vogue Australia’s fastest-selling issue on record was selected with the aim of getting more Gen Z consumers engaging with the brand. This was a part of the intention anyway, Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann told Mediaweek.

The much talked-about reality TV star and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner, was pitched for the September cover by Vogue Australia fashion director Christine Centenera and photographer Jackie Nickerson.

This was Jenner’s first ever Vogue cover. “She’d done a Teen Vogue cover but not a Vogue cover,” McCann said. “We want to continue making sure that we build our Gen Z audience.

“I was aware that she had an incredibly successful lip kit so we thought about also approaching her to promote it in Australia. You can’t buy it in retail stores here. You can only buy it online through her website.”

The initial print run of the September issue came with Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit and retailed for $12.99. “We thought it would make for a really compelling offer,” McCann said. “It was really noticed by Gen Z and they did pick up the magazine.”

The reprinted edition of the September issue was sold without the gift and came at a cheaper cover price of $8.99. “The sales continue to be really strong without the lip kit and that is because of the interest around her,” McCann said.

The process of negotiating a deal with Kylie Cosmetics was easier than many would think, McCann said. “Kylie is very much her mother’s daughter – Kris Jenner is a fantastic marketer and business woman. She understands value when you put something to her. Kylie’s business is pretty flat management relative to its size and turnover. It was much easier to pull the deal together because Kylie owns her brand outright.

“I told our retail guys, ‘This will be the biggest-selling issue ever.’ At the time, they were looking at me a little quizzically.” [Laughs]

Just a few weeks before Vogue Australia’s September edition dropped, Jenner became the subject of a global debate after Forbes listed her in its America’s Women Billionaires issue. She was reported as the 27th-richest self-made woman. Many argued about the legitimacy of this claim.

This incident “without a doubt” helped the success of Vogue Australia’s September edition, McCann said. “What that did was really position her as a serious businesswoman. It made a lot of the business community, who had perhaps written off the Kardashians and Jenners, sit up and take notice.

“That gave us that extra level of credibility.”

According to McCann, Kylie Jenner has disrupted the beauty industry in a big way. Her sister Kendall Jenner, also a model, interviewed Kylie for Vogue. This helped the article and the Vogue Australia brand gain more popularity with other online media outlets. It isn’t only about print success any more, McCann said. The digital success of a story is important too. Events also help with user engagement on digital.

Vogue Australia’s annual Fashion Night Out event was recently held in Sydney and Melbourne. For the first time in its history, it had extended trading hours. Instead of starting in the evening, the event kicked off just before lunchtime.

This gave it more coverage in the 6pm news bulletins on TV, which would have encouraged more people to take part in the event, McCann said. Along with this, Vogue was able to engage with office workers in the CBD too: “It gave them a chance to shop in their lunch hour if they were unable to stay after work.”

Without having received the official numbers yet, McCann was pleased with the success of Fashion Night Out in Sydney and Melbourne. She said she would like to see it return next year with the extended trading hours too.

 

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