People StyleWatch Is Bright Spot in Bleak Magazine Business

People StyleWatch Is Bright Spot in Bleak Magazine Business

Celebrities' red carpet looks are undeniably polished and professionally styled. But more and more, women are less interested in high-fashion and more interested in what stars wear the rest of the time.

That's where People StyleWatch comes in -- a magazine that tracks who wore what and where to buy it. Envious of Vanessa Hudgens's leopard leggings or Jessica Biel's patent pumps? Editors track trends and find stars' looks at bargain prices.

Dressing with the Stars
Dressing with the Stars

While it may not seem like rocket science, the formula is working. StyleWatch is a bright spot in the otherwise bleak magazine business. The Washington Post Co. just announced it is putting the veteran weekly magazine, Newsweek, up for sale, citing problems with circulation and revenue, in a digital age.

But as fashion magazines suffer jaw-clenching declines in advertising and circulation, StyleWatch is actually growing, increasing its ad pages by about 130 percent by showing clothes people can actually afford.

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"I think we are the right magazine for people who want to get value for what they are buying," said StyleWatch Editor Susan Kaufman. "We want to say if it's inexpensive and it's just for fun it's a quick trend that you don't have to invest a lot in."

"Nightline" visited Kaufman at the StyleWatch offices as they prepared the June/July issue. At 180 pages, it's the largest issue to date and features buys under $100.

"We're trying to make sure we have something for everyone that buys this magazine," StyleWatch Editor Susan Kaufman said. "It's really just having enough variety of clothes, variety of price points."

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Fashion guru Tim Gunn even edits a "Who Got It Right" feature in the magazine.

"It's really about the democratization of fashion and trying to reach more people so those who have a limited budget aren't limited," Gunn said. "There is no excuse for looking awful. One can find fashion on a budget...the more realistic the price is the more accessible it is of course and what greater honor is it to wear your very affordable item and looking great."

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Kaufman has taken a new approach to what a fashion glossy can be. She draws her inspiration from a surprising source: a stack of paparazzi print outs of celebs at red carpet events and on city streets.

"All the photos that all the photographers take of celebrities, they get sent to us digitally every day and our photo editors go through the process every day of printing out all the different celeb looks so from this I can see what everyone is wearing," she said.

Then, they spot trends -- from the huge statement necklaces young stars like Lauren Conrad, Rihanna and up-and-comer Erin Lucas are sporting to crop tops and baggy harem pants.

Kaufman works with editors to pull similarly trendy, but cheaper looks. They literally crawl on the floor to pick out the perfect shoe -- a scene seemingly a million miles away from the elite and high-fashion world of Vogue Magazine.

Unlike Vogue, StyleWatch is about being inclusive; editors are more likely to be talking about Banana Republic than Balenciaga.

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