Forget about living vicariously through the lives of the rich and famous. In Style wants to show Americans how to live like the celebrity set.
In Style, Time Inc.'s most successful magazine launch to date, has ambitious expansion plans. It will launch an e-commerce site by yearend and an Australian edition in March.
The 5-year-old magazine, which already sells an average 1.3 million copies a month, also plans a collection of four single-topic issues for 2000 that may eventually become standalone titles--and possibly lead to standalone businesses.
That's all in addition to the German edition coming later this year with partner Burda Publishing, and continuing TV specials on ABC and Lifetime Television.
"These are ways for us to give readers more information even if it falls outside of the pure celebrity realm of In Style," said Group Publisher Ann Jackson.
In Style's cataloglike approach to fashion, accessories and home products makes it a natural fit for an e-commerce Web site, executives said.
Susan Wyland, formerly of Walt Disney Co.'s family.com and one of the original editors of Martha Stewart Living, was hired last year to develop the site and other new projects housed under Time's People Group. She works with People Group President Ann Moore, the executive in charge of creating Time Warner's "lifestyle" hub on the Internet.
In Style-branded information likely will anchor the lifestyle hub, Ms. Jackson said. "Our readers . . . see In Style as a great brand for shopping information," she noted.
In Style has gradually chipped away at ad pages of fashion's leaders, including Elle and Glamour, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Information Bureau. Celebrities are now abundant on the covers of nearly all women's magazines; they used to grace only the covers of In Style and sibling People.
FEEDING AN APPETITE
"It's very smart of them to expand because there is an appetite for it," said Meg Lynch, VP-advertising for Louis Vuitton NA, which just began advertising in the title this year.
Louis Vuitton also bought space in In Style the Look, which debuts next month.
In Style's planned single-topic issues will be sold as a package to advertisers under the name "Style Portfolio 2000."
The specials will differ from In Style in that they will focus on how to achieve the look, the home, the wedding or the party of the sort a celebrity would have.
"They could become new monthlies or even a series of specials that we would do periodically," Ms. Jackson said. "Ultimately, we think all of them are bigger businesses than just one issue."
Plans call for 900,000 copies of the first, In Style Weddings, to appear on newsstands in January. In May, In Style Makeover is planned to deliver a guaranteed rate base of 500,000. A color page in the specials is $32,000.
In Style the Look, dedicated to translating runway fashion into accessible and wearable outfits, will debut next month on newsstands and reappear in August 2000. Both editions plan to deliver a 500,000 rate base.
In Style Entertaining, out in November, in time for the holidays, also plans a 500,000 rate base.
Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.