The September edition of Vogue Australia goes on sale today and it is special for a number of reasons. This year the Australian edition, published in Australia by News Corp under licence from Conde Nast, takes part in the global New Beginnings project.
Editor-in-chief Edwina McCann told Mediaweek September remains a magnet for advertisers and, despite the Covid turmoil, 2021 is no exception.
“We have had a good start to the financial year I am pleased to say and September remains our biggest edition for advertisers. To date our luxury advertisers have shown no signs of reducing their spend in Australia. If anything prior to the latest lockdown, Australia was viewed as what the future post-Covid might look like.
“A lot of luxury brands were actually increasing their spend because they were seeing extraordinary sales. Our September edition is booked out three months in advance with special positions the advertisers pay a loading for to secure. If an advertiser were to surrender a spot it would mean they wouldn’t have an option for it next year.”
The month of September is a big one for the brand with the annual Met Gala going ahead in New York this year and also the return of live fashion shows are expected. McCann added the models would be wearing masks and possibly have to be vaccinated.
McCann said that in some ways Covid has brought Vogue Australia readers closer to the brand. “From the beginning of this, we have been questioning what our purpose was. We ran Vogue’s Online Fashion Relief to assist Australian designers. We are looking at what we can do for them now. Without the ability to travel, making sure we relate to our local audiences is more essential than ever.”
The audience seems to like what they are being offered, said McCann. “In July we recorded our biggest digital audience ever and we made the top five Conde Nast Vogue sites globally with 5.2m page impressions for the global audience.” McCann noted the local page views were over 2m.
Vogue Australia: New Beginnings
Vogue Australia is part of the latest global Conde Nast initiative New Beginnings involving 27 editions. “We have been all asked to shoot our September cover at sunrise and the longitude and latitude of the location be printed on the cover.
“Originally we were considering a group cover with a number of new faces. However knowing that model and actor Magnolia Maymuru had just had a baby we thought it might be better to simplify things and what signifies new beginnings more than a newborn baby.”
McCann noted a new reckoning in Australia with indigenous affairs and that News Corp Australia has just celebrated Indigenous sports month. “It felt right to engage with an indigenous writer and tell Magnolia’s story with her baby.”
New Beginnings global covers
Here are some of the samples of what Vogue editions around the world have been doing with their New Beginnings sunrise covers.
McCann noted that the Chinese cover is the first edition from its new Australian born editor Margret Zhang shot near the Great Wall.
When the Australian cover was released online it quickly became Vogue Australia’s most-shared cover ever.
The Australian shoot took place on a secluded Sydney beach with fashion director Christine Centenera on Zoom back in Los Angeles where she has just had her baby with Joel Edgerton.
“There were lots of complications for this shoot. We were very close to the print deadline because we wanted to wait until Magnolia was fully vaccinated. Sunrises last 10-15 minutes and we needed a perfect day. It was the first time in 10 years of editing the magazine where I thought if we might not get a cover in time!”
Future looks bright
McCann: “Financially we have had a very good year,” said McCann. “Subscriptions have continued to grow and advertising has been very healthy. One thing from the lockdown is that it has been good for supermarket sales.
“Our forward print bookings for November and December are very healthy too. Our revenue streams like affiliate marketing are also growing.
“Our focus is growing digital audiences and an element of that is driven by the access to people the print content gives us. Our Billie Eilish [August] cover helped drive Gen-Z digital audiences.”
About Magnolia Maymuru
Magnolia Maymuru lives in the Gove Peninsula in north-east Arnhem Land, a unique part of the Northern Territory known as sunrise country. Magnolia recently celebrated the birth of her daughter, Djarraran. The model has an impressive modelling career that spans major runways and magazine features, plus an AACTA award for Best Supporting Actress for The Nightingale, and a finalist placing in Miss World Australia 2016.
In the Vogue Australia feature she speaks to award-winning Yuwaalaraay writer and storyteller Nardi Simpson about the strong and grounding connection sacred mornings in her Country offer her, they also reflect upon the duality of sunrises – and new beginnings – being both ancient and new.