This story appeared originally in Business of Fashion. You can see the it here.
Condé Nast International will launch a Polish edition of Vogue next year, partnering with new media venture Visteria to expand its offering in Eastern Europe. Filip Niedenthal will be the magazine’s launch editor-in-chief, with Polish model Malgosia Bela taking up the title of editor-at-large.
In a move away from the “digital first” strategy the publishing house pursued with Vogue Arabia, debuting an online platform last autumn months ahead of the print launch in March of this year, Vogue Poland will launch digital and print simultaneously.
“Condé Nast always believed in local autonomy, in local creativity and relevance of its editions for local readers,” Karina Dobrotvorskaya, president of Condé Nast new markets and editorial director of brand development, told BoF. “Yes, digital is becoming increasingly globalised, but print readers are still looking for a unique experience. So we do believe Poland deserves its own highly creative edition of Vogue which will be different from the other 22 Vogues.”
“Polish readers have been waiting for their own edition of Vogue for years now,” said Niedenthal, whose experience launching Esquire in Poland and two years as executive fashion director at the local edition of Harper’s Bazaar makes him well placed to introduce the Vogue name to the Polish market. “Rumours that it was about to launch have been rife since I started working in the business 17 years ago.”
The decision to launch a Polish version of the Vogue brand is significant for Condé Nast given how cautious the publishing house can be when rolling out international editions compared to its competitors. Over the course of the last 20 years, Vogue has only launched one edition in Eastern Europe since Vogue Russia’s seminal 1998 launch: Vogue Ukraine in 2013.
Vogue is debuting in a Polish media market where other global fashion magazine rivals have had a number of years to establish an audience: Elle launched back in 1994, and today has a circulation of 52,000 plus; Harper’s Bazaar entered the market in 2013, with a reported circulation of 50,000. That’s not to mention the presence of local magazines such as Twój Styl (Your Style), the Bauer Media-owned Polish monthly glossy that boasts a readership of almost 1.3 million.
“Launching a magazine in the modern media landscape is a challenge in itself,” acknowledges Dobrotvorskaya. “The market is crowded and Vogue comes last, but as the king. The challenge is to be the best, and the luxury market leader.”
“The other challenge is Vogue digital, which we will be building from scratch. But with CNI’s [Conde Nast International’s] huge international resources, and our experience with the recent digital-first launch of Vogue Arabia, we are confident that we will build a truly multimedia brand.”
While observers may view Vogue Poland as late to join the country’s editorial offering, launch editor-in-chief Niedenthal believes that part of the magazine’s success will come down to brand recognition: “Despite its absence from the Polish market, Vogue is one of the most recognisable titles here, carrying with it an air of authority and prestige that no other publication, whether in Poland or indeed anywhere else, can rival.”
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