>> 2013_03MAR_CoverI don't often review magazines anymore especially when people rabidly devour them in forums in a way that I don't have the facilities to do so.  However, this is a special one-off occasion whereby I was the eager beaver, excited to see how Carine Roitfeld's new role as global fashion director for Harper‚Äôs Bazaar would work.  Clearly it was a specifically bespoke role for Roitfeld, where she can collaborate with editors from all 26 international editions of the magazine, working with Stephen Gan, creative director of Harper's Bazaar U.S. on features.  We have here the debut of Roitfeld's work for Harper's Bazaar – a 16 page editorial simply titled "Carine on the Collections", picking out her personal key collections.  Photographed by Kacper Kasprzyk, whose work for Dazed & Confused I've long admired, it features collections by all the biggies on Stephanie Seymour, Joan Smalls and Lara Stone, among others.  I've picked out ruffled Givenchy on Joan Smalls and the unlikely combination of gaffer canvas taped Comme des Garcons and Lara Stone.  

It's a story that says a lot about Hearst (publisher of Harper's Bazaar) and its strategy in leveraging Roitfeld's power as an editor who in effect is mistress of her own brand.  Collections stories in March and September issues of magazines are nothing new but titling it with the name of a fashion director is definitely something that only a rarified few could handle.  In an another unprecedented move, Roitfeld's feature will run concurrently in all 26 international editions, stamping in Roitfeld's authority over the magazines, even if she doesn't dominate one singular issue.  It's a risky strategy but it will be interesting to see how Roitfeld's own stories are incorporated with each country's editorial viewpoint.  

HBZ Joan in Givenchy_logo-1

HBZ Lara Stone_logo

Harper's Bazaar UK March 2013 is on sale now and digital edition is also available.  

Comments (10)

  1. Nat says:

    Hmm I’ve never been hugely into Harper’s and stamping Carine’s name all over it feels a little like they’re shouting “look who we got guys, we’re cool now!”.

  2. Miss Coco says:

    I love it!
    http://WWW.JUST-COCO.COM
    CONCURSO PEPALOVES
    NEW COLLECTION

  3. susie_bubble says:

    It will be interesting to see how readers respond to this sort of fashion director branding…. is Roitfeld a surefire household name in amongst the majority of Harper’s readers? Who knows…

  4. Joy says:

    So Hearst nabbed Carine after she was unceremoniously ousted from Condé Nast! Well this is a great gig for her on top of CR Fashion Book. I miss this same feature she did at Vogue Paris.

  5. Joy says:

    I always thought Harper’s is a bit weird in that they are wedged between Vogue and Elle. Not as “elite” as Vogue but without the mass popularity and easiness of Elle. It’s a wonder they’ve continued to survive.

  6. Kristin Maria says:

    Isn’t there something wrong with that cover? It looks like Rachel Weisz’s face has been pasted on the body – or at least something isn’t right. Hmmmm…

  7. Sean says:

    Hmmm…interesting. I didn’t realize her edit would run in all of the editions, that’s something I’ve never seen before – unprecedented, maybe? I still greatly admire Carine, but wish she’d just stayed put at VP; Alt is a great stylist, but the mag has definitely lost some editorial edge and I don’t feel like Carine has given 100% to any of her endeavors since. CR Fashion Book felt undercooked and, in my view, couldn’t stand its own against LOVE et. al. I see where you’re coming from when you say this “stamps her authority” over the pub., but I feel like we have to see if it doesn’t just spread her authority too thin…or dilute that authority by condescending to diverse markets. Hopefully she’ll not settle for the lowest common denominator!

  8. susie_bubble says:

    I’m really rubbish at Photoshop gaff spotting…

  9. susie_bubble says:

    It is completely unprecedented I think…
    Well, I suspect it wasn’t her choice to “stay” at VP if you know what I mean…
    I wasn’t so hot on CR Fashion Book either but then again, it’s hard to judge on just the one issue alone. The phenomenon of using a fashion editor as a brand to sell into readers is an intriguing one… Roitfeld is not just a talented stylist but she is now seen as a supreme tastemaker. It will be interesting to see how Harper’s continue to play into that.

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