>> I've always lamented and secretly wished that a British version of Teen Vogue existed.  There's no use wrinkling your nose at me.  You can say "But we have i-D, Dazed and Lula and any one at any age can pick up Elle or Vogue and still get a decent fashion fix?"  Whilst I'm grateful to those first two titles for shaping part of what I love about fashion when I was growing up and yes, Elle/Vogue do a fine job of serving women, there still really isn't that instantly-recognisable paper-based teenage fix that is ultra specific to the fashion climate and environment of the UK (well, London…) as well as to the weird whimsies of a teenager finding/discovering style.  Yes, it is a little strange that aged 28, I'm still grasping at this non-existent magazine that isn't even targeted at my age group.  Then again, I'm also curiously fascinated by young adult fiction or the reaction to programmes like Skins or Misfits. This confirms my fate as a hoary anthropologist, who can never tear her eyes away from what's going on in teen-dom.  I once even begged Teen Voguer Andrew Bevan to get him to fight for the cause.  He tells me it's a no go though. 

You could also argue that with sites like the excellent Rookie, the increasing numbers of blogs, Tumblrs and the fact that fashion mad teens here probably pick up the American Teen Vogue anyway, teens are actually very well served.  Still, Company's recent makeover, which has seen its size reduced to exactly that of Teen Vogue, has reignited my preposterous secret wish that will probably remain unfulfilled, the way print land is going. 

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Company has done a decent job of sort of plugging that mainstream teen media hole even though they don't specifically focus their stories on teens.  Gone are the "My mum's drinking left her hours from death" and "Have sex, look skinny" headlines and instead snazzy fonts, illustrations and a much heavier fashion and beauty focus have been ushered in.  The emphasis is also on high street clothing which ups the accessibility factor.  The styling is evidently less "Phooooaaar" and more preppy.  I'd liken it to ASOS's make-under from As Seen On Screen to its current on-point incarnation.  I do find it interesting that those slightly saucy reads that I bought as a curious teen to find out about sex- More, 19, Company – have either floundered or changed tact.  I'm reminded once again of Kevin Braddock's analysis of men's magazine culture and the pending death of lad mags and likewise, the language of sex as well as the idea that women are dressing with the sole purpose of "going out on the pull" in women's media, has also become muted.  

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By all means, it's not the finished product for me and my lofty ideas for a teen mag that would probably sell less than 100 copies.  Maybe it'll kick start me into putting some money where my mouth is.  Nonetheless I quite like the shift.  One less magazine proclaiming "How to make your G-string work for you and your man" is fine by me.  

Comments (24)

  1. Dina says:

    “the way print is going” made me feel very sad; I really, really hope that blogs don’t take over because nothing beats whipping out the lovely sized (as you pointed out) Teen Vogue on a busy tube… I haven’t seen the new Company yet so reading this was very intriguing. I still love venturing into WHSmith and having a flick through, with no shame at all that I am in the teen section :D

  2. Dina says:

    “the way print is going” made me feel very sad; I really, really hope that blogs don’t take over because nothing beats whipping out the lovely sized (as you pointed out) Teen Vogue on a busy tube… I haven’t seen the new Company yet so reading this was very intriguing. I still love venturing into WHSmith and having a flick through, with no shame at all that I am in the teen section :D

  3. Michelle says:

    I love the new Company mag redesign, it’s starting to take its steps into the next stage of mag publishing, that’s for sure. Congrats on the features too, I’m creepily featured on that ‘Who is Britain’s Best Style Blogger?’ page haha (:

  4. Cicely says:

    Ellegirl was so good, I used to read that when I was about 14 and it made me begin to see a whole side of fashion I hadn’t thought about, streetstyle, d.i.y, it was like nothing else out there. Then it went bust, such a shame. There’s definitely a gap in the market, look at rookie. I don’t think magazines will ever disappear, particularly fashion magazines, as good as online versions are they don’t measure up to the real thing.

  5. Snap Fashion says:

    100% agree and I’m in my mid/late 20s! ElleGirl was amazing and will now have to buy a copy of Company. Also have a soft spot for playful fashion for grown-ups http://snapfashion.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/grown-up-playful-fashion/

  6. Kylie says:

    I completely agree with you, I rarely read magazines due to the patronising content. Also does anyone really care what the cast of towie are wearing?! Irritates me. Glad company are taking a new approach maybe they will set a set a precedent for the rest of the glossys x

  7. Domonique says:

    Agreed!No Kylie no one cares about Towie….especially what they may be wearing! Also how pretty is Miss Chung on the cover?
    http://lilylovelock.blogspot.com/
    x

  8. I haven’t seen the new Company yet so reading this was very intriguing. I still love venturing into WHSmith and having a flick through, with no shame at all that I am in the teen section

  9. Serdane says:

    Very inspiring !!
    htp://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  10. Elisa says:

    Oh dear I adore Teen Vogue, this makes me feel so much better about myself. I don’t know what it is about teen mags really, but they’re so enjoyable.
    Elisa
    http://midori-store.tumblr.com/

  11. Nomad says:

    I miss Elle Girl UK. That was my favourite when I was a teen.

  12. AnieB says:

    Him we don´t have Vogue Teen, also I see denim is usuala wear on this seasson ;-)

  13. Winnie says:

    I’ve got to agree, Company’s make over is definitely an interesting move and I really did enjoy reading this months copy. I liked the size, the feel of the paper and the general content too. Everything in the magazine seemed relevant to me, thank goodness there was less about ‘z-celebrity’ fashion.

  14. Anna says:

    I wish they’d make another teen magazine like Ellegirl – it was my only source of individual fashion when I was younger. Lula does definintly bridge a gap, but I still think there’s space for a new young fashion magazine with amazing, diverse editorials and actually interesting content.You should definitly create your own mag – I’d buy it!

  15. Katie says:

    All the sex rubbish and not much style is why I never buy the cheaper mags like Company. The new shift looks interesting. After reading this post, I may just pick one up whilst I’m waiting for my ELLE to arrive in the post.

  16. Libby says:

    I read Teen Vogue when I can get my hands on it {sadly not stocked by the shop in my village…} but the new Company looks good. I love Teen Vogue and all, but it’s not accessible for me. There’s such a focus on designer fashion & {relatively} expensive make up brands that, despite a few mentions here & there of Target which of course we don’t have, I still feel like their ideal girl is miles away from who I am.
    I’m the editor of an online site, Fernweh Magazine, which is compiled by me and some other teenage girls from America & Canada. I think with the internet, it you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can make it yourself. And although I’ll keep buying print magazines for as long as I can {Frankie & Oh Comely are my favourites} the ease and frequency of online material is amazing. I think they are actually quite different–even seeing a photo editorial on paper is so different to seeing it on screen–and I like having a balance of the two. So, I’d buy your teen mag is you ever made it.

  17. Charlotte M says:

    What an insightful and inspiring blog post. Teen magazines appeal to the girl in most of us. I’m the creative director of Betty magazine. We recently had a redesign and launched into the world of print from online. We very much take the approach that some of us will always be girls.
    One of our fashion references for the magazine was Elle Girl and our relationship with fashion is one that touches on style rather sexuality.
    One of the few joys of being a teen is finding yourself and finding ways to express yourself. The beauty of teen fashion is that it isn’t contrived. In youth lies innocence, in innocence lies truth. So when I view teen fashion it’s with nostalgia for a time of discovery and truth. Sentimental old fool!!!

  18. SK says:

    I’ve never thought of it that way, you make a good point!
    This post has made me curious, i think i might just go and check out company magazine
    http://throwitalltogether-tatty.blogspot.com/

  19. Christian says:

    Totally agree with everyone saying ElleGirl was amazing. Great fashion and really thoughtful features. I’m so sad that just as I got into it it shut down!

  20. I’m also a “beyond teen” who gets a kick out of the junior fashion publications, and I think the best mainstream one out there at the moment is Nylon. It’s a creative and inspiring hodgepodge whose fashion and beauty spreads reference the coolest in music, movies and art of the last century, along with looking ahead – and never in a preachy, “you must look like this” way.

  21. Madeleine says:

    ELLEGirl got me through my teen years until it tragically crashed, luckily I was old enough to graduate to ELLE at that point.

  22. Hope says:

    I found your blog through the Teen Vogue mag. I adore it already!

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