Since news leaked that Time Inc was going to launch InStyle in the
UK, I have been sitting on my hands with excitement. I've long been a
fan of the US version, having enjoyed its practical tips and voyeuristic
The British version is very similar; in fact, the amount of articles I
had already read in the American editions was a bit disappointing.
Nevertheless, this won't matter to other, less obsessive, readers.
All the essential ingredients are in place: the 'get the look' articles
with plenty of fantastically decked-out celebrities; the down-to-earth
tips - in this case, finding flattering jeans; and the interviews with
celebs about their own style.
It all has a very mass-market appeal but feeds off the glamour of the
celebrities to make it appear more glitzy than reading OK! or Hello!
In the US the magazine stole a lot of Vogue's readers and advertisers,
and Vogue in the UK has been preparing for the launch by including its
own 'get the look' articles for a few months now. Somehow, however, I
don't think Vogue should hit the panic button just yet.
InStyle's UK version seems less glamorous and aspirational than its US
counterpart. This could be owing to its celebrity line-up having to
include some British stars, who lack the glitz of Hollywood. Somehow,
knowing what foundation Jennifer Saunders uses and what Charlie Dimmock
removes her make-up with, has less wow factor than what Jennifer Lopez
or Gwynneth Paltrow have in their make-up bags.
Some of the editorial content whiffed of having been put together in a
hurry: every other publication wrote about Madonna's diamond bracelet in
December, and I'm sure I've already read about how Sadie Frost and Jude
Law have their dirty laundry picked up for them in Heathrow. I would
expect, however, that these are no more than the usual teething problems
you would have with a launch edition.
Will it do well in the UK? Absolutely. It manages to bring something new
to the market. It's a fantastic read and you don't need to be a
millionaire to be able to act on its recommendations. It is what it is,
avoiding the trap of dressing itself up as an intelligent read.
The ads were few and far between once past the opening pages. But the
big guns were there: Versace, Armani, Calvin Klein, Russell & Bromley,
Its launch advertising campaign, by M&C Saatchi, has given InStyle a
mass-market positioning. For me, the advertising and the issue lacks the
glamour that is embedded in its American sister. This could put me off
the title in the long run, but it's likely to be a winning formula for
Publisher Time Life Entertainment Group
Cover price £2.70
Print run 400,000
Full-page colour ad rate £13,000
Advertisers include Givenchy, Dior, Gap, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani,
Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder.