Reincarnations of two women’s ’style bibles’ from the two biggest
hitters in women’s magazine publishing are set to stir up the fashion
market in the spring.
IPC SouthBank is relaunching 60s style title, Nova, in a bold pounds 3
million move, while Frank, recently acquired by Emap Elan, is to be
repositioned as a top-end fashion title.
A ’cutting edge’ mix of fashion and features for 20- to 30-year-old
style conscious women is promised for Nova, which originally launched in
1965 and was closed in 1976 after a disastrous unisex repositioning.
The project, known as Plan B, has been developed over the last 12 months
under SouthBank publishing director Rita Lewis and ex-Scene editor
Debbie Bee, who will edit the new title.
SouthBank managing director Colin Reeves-Smith insisted that Nova will
not be a mirror image of its former self, but will carry its brand
’It will be pitched differently; done with a different voice. It’s a
competitive market and a huge investment but the prize is very big at
the end,’ he said.
Emap Elan’s director of women’s media Dawn Bebe questioned the decision
to overhaul such an aged brand . ’If it didn’t work 20 years ago, then
why get it back out of the dustbin now,’ she said.
Reeves-Smith countered: ’Great 60s brands such as the MG were neglected
in the 70s but still carry a cachet today. Though the target audience
won’t have heard of Nova, the style industry will know how brilliant it
A publisher has yet to be appointed and advertising will be sold by the
SouthBank fashion team. Clare Dove has been recruited from Premier
Magazines to cover for fashion ad director Claire Portis who is taking
maternity leave. On her return, it is likely that the fashion portfolio
will be divided up with Dove taking on part of the portfolio.
Meanwhile, Frank - part of the Emap Metro Wagadon acquisition - is
likely to be relaunched by Elan in a very different guise. Publisher
Margaret Heffernan said: ’There is nothing quite like Italian Vogue in
the UK market. That top-end fashion market is very exciting and we
always thought that Frank’s greatest strength was its fashion.’