Recently flagged up in Vogue’s In Vogue section, outlining the
latest things you should be in the know about, was Purple; a bible for
fashion, advertising and media types.
Published in Paris by a graphic design company, it has a hard-to-place
international feel about it. The think-piece texts in the prose section,
based on a different theme for each edition, are written in English or
French by international authors . According to Purple’s co-publisher,
Elein Fleiss, the title Purple was chosen because it is a word which
conjures up images of the 70s, suggesting freedom and sensuality.
Circulation has grown ten-fold since Fleiss and Olivier Zahm launched
Purple Prose, a booklet of words and photos in 1995, but Purple is not
mainstream. It’s about trends, which are inherently exclusive. Fleiss is
categoric: ’Ten thousand is enough, we want to remain independent.
Content and advertising are not interdependent in Purple.’ To this end,
it is distributed worldwide through small concerns, such as Art Data and
the ICA in London.
There are six distinct sections: Purple Fashion is the magazine’s
anchor; Purple Special Lexicon has prose and photographs illustrating
key words; Purple Special looks at the work of a photographer; Purple
Prose; Purple Fiction, a series of word associations and photos and,
finally, Purple Interiors. These sections were printed as individual
booklets but last year the publisher decided they would work better as a
single, book-style publication.
Most of the advertising features appear in the magazine’s first 30
They are high-design fashion ads, but not haute couture. The remainder
of the ad space is taken up by art galleries, museums or photographic
Such is the success of Purple that its publishers have a new project in
the pipeline with a broader appeal - a city and culture magazine about
PURPLE FACTS AND FIGURES
Cover price Fr75
Frequency twice yearly
Total circulation 10,000
Cost of full-page colour ad Fr20,000
Cost of dps colour ad Fr30,000
Publisher Association Belle Haleine, Paris