BEIJING: The editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, has a formidable reputation. Wintour is the star of a new documentary called 'The September Issue.' Filmmaker R.J. Cutler went into Vogue to offer a more intimate glimpse of Wintour, who wields power like few others in both fashion and publishing. 'September' is the anticipated issue of...
BEIJING: The editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, has a formidable reputation.
Wintour is the star of a new documentary called 'The September Issue.'
Filmmaker R.J. Cutler went into Vogue to offer a more intimate glimpse of Wintour, who wields power like few others in both fashion and publishing.
'September' is the anticipated issue of the magazine and across the world, the international versions of Vogue are celebrating with shopping events called 'fashion night out' in fashion capitals.
In Beijing, Vogue is growing in influence.
After years of speculation, Vogue launched on the Chinese market in September 2005, with the aim of attracting the new Chinese emerging middle class, in market dominated by state run media.
Millions of dedicated followers of fashion try to get their hands on what has become a fashion bible for the year.
From New York to London to Paris and now Beijing. China aspires to become the next fashion capital.
Editor Angelica Cheung says China is becoming 'en vogue' (French – in fashion).
“Vogue's entrance into China has a lot to do with the rising perception of Chinese creative industry in the international community. Suddenly China became a hot topic. There are economic reasons and the development of the art industry. At the same time, Vogue gave the message to the people that China is ready,” says Angelica Cheung editor in chief of Vogue China.”
From catwalks to high streets to households, fashion in China is moving into the mainstream and changing values.
“Fashion influences our life very greatly. It can change our attitude towards making money. Originally the process of making money is exhausting. However if there is something that you want to buy like pretty shoes or trendy bag, the process (in order to get the item you want) can be fun,” says Television actress Zhao Zi Qi.
Vogue has been able to create a lifestyle to aspire to. Yet some say its influence has spread further than to those who read the publication.
“Although the general concept of Vogue seems to be only high end, it is not always high end. I think that people's appreciation will gradually improve. Through accumulated experiences people will realise that everything said in Vogue is absolutely right,” says Sun Lingsheng, the lead singer of Chinese rock band Super VC.
As China continues to open up, the magazine sector is seeing more opportunities. Readers are becoming more interested in the west which is something reflected in magazine sales and subscriptions.
Todd Embley, President of Keltan Times, a Beijing based English language news magazine says there is a demand for western ideas.
“The information highway has extended now into China,” he says, “and they are so desperate almost to have access to study the western society that has been so closed off to them before that they are doing everything they can to eat anything that comes onto their table. So they are anticipating and they love it. They want to read the English words, the want to see western style design, marketing strategies, sales strategies even to take the magazine home to their children who are voraciously (eager) as it is to practice to learn from them as well. The demand is huge.”
On the high street in Beijing there was nothing but praise for the magazine.
“It's (Vogue) very good. I read it (Vogue) very often. It is the trendsetter of the world,” says Duan Ying Ying, a shopper in the central shopping district in Beijing.
“Vogue is a top ten magazine and you can see the fashion style around the world,” says another shopper Emily Chen.
“Magazines help you to understand the things you do not see in your normal life or help you to know how to mix and match clothing or how to accessorise; and it helps you to get more news about Europe or information that you can not obtain domestically. If you develop this in your daily life. If you don't know what to wear that day you can look at a magazine and understand what the trend is,” says a man who identified himself as Cookie.
It seems young Chinese consumers are ready to 'strike a pose' and embrace fashion. AGENCIES