World: Medium of the Week - Style & Design wins over a new female audience

The glossy fashion spin-off offers a consumer-focused platform, Lucy Aitken writes.

Time's usual fare of politics and current affairs hasn't traditionally given the chairman's wife much to get excited about. But there's been significantly more enthusiasm towards Time from female readers since it launched its upmarket fashion title, Time Style & Design.

According to data from Time, 41 per cent of Time Style & Design readers are female, compared with Time's usual 24 per cent. And, from 2005, expect even more women to be flicking through the magazine: Time Style & Design is upping its frequency to include an extra issue in Europe and Asia.

Charlotte Venzo de Monbrison, the title's associate publisher, says: "Whereas Time readers travel a lot, earn a lot of money and are part of a powerful elite, Time Style & Design tends to reach more women and younger readers. It comes as part of a personal subscription, so the magazine can circulate more within the household."

Mirroring its audience, the advertising is more consumer-focused than that of its big sister magazine, swapping hotels and airlines for high-end fashion and luxury goods brands. One advertiser is the premium mobile phone brand Vertu. Part-owned by Nokia, Vertu is positioning itself as the Rolex of mobile phones.

Initiative used the new magazine as part of a global campaign to top up local activity for Signature, a Vertu handset. Local press included titles such as Wallpaper and World of Interiors. Lorraine Quick, Vertu's international account manager at Initiative, sees the title's "glossy" qualities as a big attraction. "Often the business press doesn't offer a qualitative environment," she says. "But Style & Design is beautiful. It's printed on high-quality paper. It's concise, so short articles work well."

Crucially, Time Style & Design hits the newsstands as catwalk collections debut in the world's fashion capitals, and the title has a presence at the shows . That makes the magazine "a useful vehicle", Claire Bayly, an international strategic planner at Media-edge:cia, says. The agency uses Time Style & Design as part of a wider deal with Time for Canon, so there's a sleek-looking ad for the Pixmar printer in the current issue. "We get added value from using central pan-European deals because you hit the audience you're after," Bayly says.

"Off the back of Style & Design, we get specialist distribution at the fashion shows in New York, London and Milan."

Bayly says that Time Style & Design is useful for announcing new products, before using local titles such as Le Figaro and Paris Match. "For the target audience, the Pixmar ad sits nicely in the magazine," she says. "We're concentrating on fashion a bit more."

Through Style & Design, Time is tapping into this ever-expanding interest in fashion, along with other business publications such as Intelligent Life. As Venzo de Monbrison comments: "People are taking fashion and luxury much more seriously."

Launched: March 2002

Publisher: Time Warner

Typical advertisers: Dior, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Vertu, Clarins, Canon,

Cartier

Typical cost of a full-colour page (Europe): $60,000

Frequency: Quarterly in US and Europe; three times a year in Asia (2005)

Format: 27.5x23cm

Distribution: US: 550,000; Europe: 475,000; Asia: 219,00

Rival publications: Intelligent Life (The Economist), How To Spend It

(FT), Fashionweek (Businessweek)

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