Under the guidance of its editor-in chief, Andrea Arbelaiz, the magazine will offer expert, intelligent and inspiring content in fashion, beauty, decor, design, and culture. “The social movements of recent years prove that Argentine women want to get away from everything that generated discontent, which they never dared to question until now: the struggle for equality at work, the bill for legalised abortion, the denunciation of violence against women (femicide is a real issue in Argentina), are clear signs that women need help. Marie Claire, a media brand dedicated to modern and active young women, wants to answer this call and echo their voices by telling real stories ofwomen. By combining style and naturalness in terms of fashion and beauty, Marie Claire Argentina wants to be a strong, respectful and participative connection with their reality, their lives,” Arbelaiz said in a release.
The French magazine, was founded in France in 1937 by Jean Prouvost; today, Marie Claire is published in 29 countries and has 93 million readers. In Argentina, the title is aimed at active, modern women and will advocate for the values of modern-day feminism, according to a release.
“Despite the difficult situation of the magazines business, some brands transcend time and space, which is why Editorial Perfil has partnered with Marie Claire to launch a local edition, one of the first large-scale launches in the country in years,” Agustino Fontevecchia, editorial director of Editorial Perfil said in a release. “Marie Claire is a perfect fit with Perfil’s portfolio of brands, adding an upscale women’s title to a market that is eager for highquality content on all platforms. Our ambition is not on a single medium, but on a multiplatform approach where print is as important as digital, social media as valuable as events. We have no doubts that the synergies achieved between both organisations will lead to an extremely successful, novel, and powerful alternative for Argentines.”
To find out more, FIPP caught up with Agustino Fontevecchia.
Agustino Fontevecchia at the Digital Innovators’ Summit
What is the challenge for the magazine in this day and era? Expanding and giving a platform for women’s voices?
Marie Claire is a brand with a mission, and together with Marie Claire International our intention is to push the mission forward. I think it is clear that the past couple of years have seen a global movement towards women’s empowerment, putting the focus on erradicating certain forms of gender violence which can go from actual femicide to tacit discrimination to wage inequality. I feel that Marie Claire as a brand is trying to put femininity first, giving us a platform to explore women’s issues while also giving room to fashion and lifestyle coverage. At the end of the day, that intersection is part of what an urban woman in a globalised city is looking for, so we have found a cultural and economic niche in our market.
How will the Argentine edition of Marie Claire reflect the mores and values of its audience?
First of all, Argentina is in the Southern hemisphere, which means not only that our seasons are reversed from the North but also that we are quite far. This in a way gives us a different set of cultural axioms from which to work on. Argentina is a country made up of immigrants as well, with a strong Italian and Spanish influence, which combines with local Latin American culture. We are a country of strong women, as evidenced by certain historical characters, and of strong attitudes in general. At the same time, we are unfortunately a country with a lot of poverty, meaning some of the more difficult situations regarding women’s issues are even more skewed such as violence against women. Our first issue had a big feature on femicide, and it is important for us to have a platform that allows us to deal journalistically with those issues.
Yet, we also want to highlight the importance of Argentine and Latin American culture, from a fashion standpoint it is of course very different, and also from a lifestyle perspective. Argentina has recently had a growing role in global culture, with chefs, hoteliers, athletes, artists, and other personalities emerging on a global stage. We also want to tell their stories, while at the same time inviting everyone across the globe to be able to consume all of this digitally and on social media.
The world is changing at a faster rate and so are important issues, particularly when speaking about the urban woman living in a global city like Buenos Aires. In the past few years we have seen Argentina’s response to the Me Too movement, along with a massive mobilisation of young women marching for their rights behind what has come to be known as the “green handkerchiefs” group most explicitly identified by the battle for legal abortion. This is happening while all people are becoming more aware about the impact of climate change, and this permeates every aspect of society, from how we eat to how we dress. All of this translates into real stories about real people of all ages, of all places of the country and the world.
Why was it important to launch a local edition in Argentina?
Argentina is a weird country, it is one of the richest in terms of natural and human resources, yet it remains stuck in this complex economic mess for nearly a century. Yet, it is a fascinating nation from a cultural perspective, giving us the proper set of conditions for a brand launch like this one. The print publication is really important as well, as we are convinced the audience is there, and that a high quality product will have a proper reception. The last big magazine launch in Argentina was some six or seven years ago at the least. Of course, declining circulation and a change in habits means people are reading more online, which in turn leads us to conceiving the magazine as an all around product including print, digital, social media, events, and every other extension we can think of.
The magazine will be a monthly print edition but also online at marieclaire.perfil.com, and on social at @marieclairearg. It will not only be available in Argentina, but also in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. Is that what you mean by “large-scale launches?”
Yes, we will be taking the magazine to all of what is known as the Southern Cone, which includes those countries. We believe this is a large scale launch because we have one of the world’s most successful publishers, Marie Claire, teaming up with one of Latin America’s most successful publishers, Perfil. Together, we are betting on going against the trend and proving a magazine and a brand like Marie Claire will succeed even in a complex environment.
What will set this magazine apart from other womens magazines in Argentina?
There’s definitely a niche that hasn’t been fully explored in the market which we seek to capitalize on. We feel that the combination of women’s issues, fashion, lifestyle, and a high quality product on all platforms is attractive for the urban, globalised, committed modern woman. We are not thinking of just being frivolous or just being serious or even intellectual. Our vision is that modernity is fluid, that issues are complex, that tastes are expanding, and that culture is evolving. This is what we seek to give to our readers, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist on all platforms currently in Argentina.
How many magazine media brands does this partnership make for Perfil?
In terms of licenses we have picked up, it’s the first one in years, maybe decades. Years ago we realised that we felt more confident in our capacity to build our own brands than license them. In part, this also had to do with the Argentine market, which as I previously explained is very different. Some of our most successful titles like Caras and Noticias have things from many magazines, yet they are unique to Argentina. With Marie Claire, though, we found a hole in our portfolio where we haven’t been as successful, a high-end women’s monthly title. We are always on the lookout for opportunities, so I wouldn’t discard other moves here or in Brazil, where we have a very strong title in Caras.
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