The September Issues
Let’s Talk About who’s buying them and why.
Oh, sure. We’re pretty fond of each other, but the truth is you all are our favorite contributors to The Man Repeller. Really! And we’ve formalized that fact with “Let’s Talk About It.” This weekly column is a forum for conversation, communication, and complete distraction from the jobs you’re supposed to be doing right now. So get involved. We promise we won’t tell your boss.
If you’re anything like us, you paused for a beat longer than usual at your neighborhood newsstand this week. But it wasn’t some previously undiscovered flavor of Trident Layers or the International Herald Tribune or that day’s Mega Millions jackpot that caught your eye. Instead, you momentarily forgot about your morning commute because you realized something big had happened. Friends, Romans, countrymen, it’s true. The September issues have arrived. And on behalf of all of us, may I just say: Hooray!
After what feels like months of industry buzz, the annual tomes are upon us. There’s Jennifer Aniston grinning for Glamour and Nina Dobrev crouching atop Cosmopolitan. Elle snapped a smoking Kate Upton, Esquire nabbed Kate Moss, and—surprise, surprise—a pair of socialites landed Town & Country. But now that their highly burnished covers have been revealed, one essential question remains. Are any of us actually going to buy them?
According to Tuesday’s New York Times, probably not. The Gray Lady reports that magazines have “continued to struggle with sales of subscriptions and newsstand copies in the first half of 2013.” Glamour’s circulation is down 28.8%. Cosmo is posting a drop of 24% since this time last year. And even the publication credited with popularizing the very concept of the “September Issue” is not immune. Vogue’s sales have declined 10.4 percent. Shocked? Yeah. We weren’t either. After all, that print media is headed for its eventual demise is hardly breaking news.
But while it evidently circles the drain, here’s what we know. Sob-inducing figures notwithstanding, some of us do buy magazines. In fact, a few of us—ahem, Leandra, ahem—stockpile them. What’s more? I’d be willing to bet a whole slew of you do too.
Given that, here’s what I want to know: what compels you to pick up a copy of the besieged monthly magazine? Is it a particularly twinkly-eyed cover star? A fashion-heavy photo essay? A feature story you want to read in ink? Were you as curious as I was to see what Eva Chen would do at Lucky? (Spoiler alert: she’s worked her universally lauded magic. It’s addictive.) And was there a title you just couldn’t resist taking home this September?
In other words: what does Anna have to do to get your goddamn attention?!
Personally, I think sticking Jennifer Lawrence on Vogue’s September 2013 cover is a good place to start, but we’re not here to listen to what I have to say, now are we?
So. Let’s talk about it.
Written by Mattie Kahn