Ah, the September issue. Tuesday, WWD let slip the news that Vogue’s most important issue of the year’s cover would be graced by Lady Gaga. For magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and W this issue is The Grand Poohbah, The Leader of the Pack, The Colossus of Clout. The leading magazine typically runs anywhere from 350 to 800 pages, holding only a mere 25% of actual content. This is an advertiser’s crowded playground, inevitably weighing in as the magazine’s heaviest issue of the year, both literally and monetarily.
There’s really no true fashion lover out there who would complain about even more volume to their ‘readings.’ But it does rouse the question: why September? A month that conjures up images of golden, falling leaves and schoolbooks. Our first clue comes from a habit most of us took on at an early age…back to school shopping. Even if you aren’t enrolled and well on your way in the working world, this feeling of starting fresh for fall is pretty innate. So, there’s our first theory.
Digging deeper, on this autumnal retail memory lane, what are you buying? As the temperature is dropping, we feel the need to layer up. Woolen coats, beautiful scarves, soft gloves, cuddly sweaters, warm boots…all pieces of the season, donning price tags that swell along with the garment density. This is great for designers. While summer dresses are playful and fun, the heavier the ticket item the better. And since people are willing to shell out more cash, this is the precise time to start pushing it as big as you can get it.
Really, the September issue is a brilliant business move for tons of people involved. Any business, from fashion to beauty to automobiles can benefit from The September Issue frenzy. The timing is spot on, what with people’s wardrobes shifting and the impending holiday purchases…releasing an extra ad in the fall fashion Bible is just what you do to boost that revenue. Like a gateway to the new year, “September is the January of fashion.” Well said, Candy Pratts Price, well said.
Watch the photo montage below to see the last twelve years of Vogue’s own September issues: