CAMPAIGN INTERNATIONAL - MEDIUM OF THE MONTH - Rossyln Hyams explores French style bible, Purple, a fusion of photography, design and prose

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.

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

pages.



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

studios.



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

Paris.



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



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