LONDON — A round of adjustments at Condé Nast final 12 months, which bundled the exit of Vogue China’s founding editor Angelica Cheung, Condé Nast China president Sophia Liao and group publisher Paco Tang, has experienced profound effect on how the Chinese style media landscape will search in 2021 and further than.
It is the first time in 16 a long time that someone else apart from Cheung, who was frequently regarded as the most highly effective individual in the Chinese vogue field, will just take the direct in the speedy-shifting Chinese manner publishing sector, the place brands are gearing up to allocate a significant chunk of advertising spend this yr.
There are rumors floating about Cheung perhaps signing up for LVMH China or launching her very own label. And resources told WWD that Anna Wintour, who was promoted to chief written content officer at the corporation in December, has been interviewing editor in main-kind candidates in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan for Cheung’s substitution.
Quite a few in mainland China see this as a worrying signal that the new editorial director of Vogue China, who will be reporting to Wintour, may not be equipped to hold up with the rate and direction China’s publishing sector is heading.
In modern a long time, China has moved absent from Hollywood, K-Pop or even the Western trend process, and has created a unique ecosystem that caters to Chinese consumers’ escalating demand for nearby celebs and a resurgence of Chinese aesthetic that reflects their own id.
Placing international supermodels on the go over of a magazine, which was a promoting stage for Vogue China at the starting, no for a longer period resonates as strongly with the viewers. The magazine’s February problem, the to start with just one underneath Wintour’s route, that includes Kendall Jenner carrying a Gucci floral dress in a back garden on the address, was achieved with criticism on both of those Instagram and China’s microblogging web site Weibo.
Weibo person Zhengpailicha reported he would cancel the magazine subscription simply because of this abrupt change in visible path, though fashion influencer Style_Bangz, with 4.31 million followers on Weibo, commented “oops……” on Vogue China’s submit.
1 editor that lots of are looking to fill the power vacuum is Chuxuan Feng, the founder of Huasheng Media. The group is the publisher of the Chinese editions of T Journal, The New York Occasions Vacation Journal, Kinfolk, WSJ. Journal, Wallpaper, Nylon, Drift and Fathers Journal, and it has performed a very important job in the emergence of the China-centric aesthetic by collaborating with neighborhood artistic talents, these types of as photographer Leslie Zhang, stylist Jeff Li and Audrey Hu, on productions, as effectively as placing a blend of community actors, directors, influencers and advocates of the addresses to create buzz on social media.
For case in point, T Magazine China was the 1st journal to encourage actress Supporter Bingbing, who has made a robust comeback in 2020 from her tax evasion scandal, to surface on the address with each other with her little brother Enthusiast Chengcheng, who is a member of the preferred boy band NEX7, donning outfits from Loewe’s spring 2021 assortment. The Weibo hashtag of them appearing on the exact same deal with recorded 43 million views.
“The print publications are only section of the fashion media matrix, and a huge aspect of the Chinese audience start to know about the publications as a result of social media, offline gatherings, videos and artistic assignments these days,” Feng told WWD.
“I have always thought that the top quality of articles is the foundation of any productive publication. Through trend publications, Chinese readers no extended see it as a catalogue or a searching checklist, or a area to go through accomplishment stories. You have Tmall or Xiaohongshu for that. What they are hunting for now is in-depth reporting, or extra specialised articles, these types of as a story about a form of exquisite material, or an explainer of the cultural logic powering shopper goods,” he included.
In 2021, Feng thinks that the most significant challenge in the sector will go on to be how to deliver resonating written content across all platforms, like print, Weibo, WeChat, TikTok’s Chinese variation Douyin, social commerce platform Xiaohongshu and online video group Bilibili.
While some media stores attribute the demise of the affect of print publications in China to the increase of influencers, this sort of as Gogoboi, Mr. Luggage, Austin Li, and Rita Wang, Feng explained their romance with print media is in truth far more aligned than in the West, and both of those are enjoying important roles in the current market.
On top of building a lot more memorable times for the Chinese trend community, these as the nicely-acquired January-February challenge of Wallpaper China, featuring Chinese model Zhao Lei and Du Juan on the deal with, photographed by Leslie Zhang, though catering to luxury brands’ need to successfully affect the individuals, the business also has strategies to grow over and above publishing.
It opened a bookstore specializing in architecture and style at Aranya Artwork Middle in Qinhuangdao, a well-liked coastal metropolis in Hebei province where affluent Beijing residents escape to for weekend getaways. This calendar year, it options to open up specialty bookstores for small children, art galleries in universities, a boutique resort and commit in a European perfume manufacturer.
As COVID-19 rocked most of the ability gamers in China, which include Modern day Media, Hearst and Condé Nast, Huasheng Media has taken in a variety of media veterans to spearhead the growth of its media manufacturers. To identify a several, Anita Chang, a founding member of both Condé Nast Taiwan and China divisions, joined the organization as chief working officer. Baojian Li, previous publisher of Vogue China and style director at Elle China, took on the position of team editorial director, typical manager and editor in chief of WSJ. Journal China, and Anson Chen, former trend director at GQ China, is now its trend director and deputy editor.
A former staff for a decade at Life style Media, the publisher of the Chinese version of Madame Figaro, So Figaro, Wonderland and Alright Journal, Feng secured monetary assist from Ruigang Li, founder of China Media Money, 1 of the largest media conglomerates in China with sturdy ties to Beijing, and introduced Huasheng Media in 2017. Feng also holds the place of vice president at the mum or dad business.
A different standout in the turbulent landscape in 2020 was the Chinese version of Marie Claire. With former Condé Nast Traveler China editorial director and GQ China life-style director Alex Sunshine having up the job of editor in main, the journal, which was marketed to China’s biggest apparel brand Heilan Home and a team of private traders from Hearst China in 2018, managed to carry on constructing a distinct visible narrative though keeping true to the desires of a new era of modern-day Chinese females.