Are indie fashion magazines more influential than mainstream magazines?


Fashion is always an ever-changing topic of conversation. The majority of us may not be following the London Fashion Week catwalks, but we do care about our appearance and the way we dress ourselves. For decades, iconic fashion magazines have been at the forefront of style; Vogue recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. However, is it still relevant in the 21st century? The magazine, along with others has frequently been called out for its lack of diversity and is now only becoming more inclusive under the appointment of Edward Enninful, who has become the first black editor of Vogue.

Vogue  and  Harper's Bazaar  front covers

Vogue and Harper's Bazaar front covers

However, heavyweights such as Vogue, Elle and Harpers Bazaar have a new type of competition in the form of independent fashion magazines. Newer publications such as The Gentlewoman and Buffalo Zine showcase style in an alternative, edgy way, reporting on fresh emerging designers and streetwear brands. Although, like their competitors they still remain loyal to major fashion houses such as Chanel and Gucci through advertising. While these magazines may be more expensive than their well-known rivals, indie mag consumers are more than happy to pay for high quality paper full of beautiful photography and relatable journalism. Independent magazines have created their own aesthetic that young people especially want to be associated with. Copies of the magazines are more than just copies; people want to be seen reading them.

the gentlewoman  Issue 17. Front cover.

the gentlewoman Issue 17. Front cover.

Spread from  the gentlewoman .

Spread from the gentlewoman.

I created an Instagram poll asking people if they read fashion magazines, and what type they read more of. 55% of people voted that indie fashion magazines are more relevant today. Some participants stated that indie magazines are more trustworthy, as they are “more genuine to their cause than the bigger mags, that generally follow bigger trends.”

With such a close result between the two, you could argue that both are equally read. Magazines such as Vogue have been around for so long that they won’t be cast aside so quickly and easily. However, while mainstream publications reach more people and are therefore more influential, indie magazines are more relevant, exciting and more importantly, inclusive. 

Leia Robertson-Dunbar