I chose to examine Vogue Magazine’s February 2017 issue for this assignment. As expected, the first multitude of pages were covered in advertisements promoting brands such as Dior, Gucci, and Estee Lauder. This didn’t come to me as a surprise, as the magazine has for decades, been known more for its ties with fashion and beauty than hard news, itself. On page 36, I found the Table of Contents. I quickly skimmed through it. Being an avid fan of the magazine for years, I knew what to expect next; about twenty pages later, Anna Wintour introduced this month’s theme in the section called “Letter from the Editor”. I learned that somehow all the articles in this month’s Vogue issue would be tied to the concept of courage.
About five pages after I read Wintour’s letter, the first Front of the Book story pops up. Titled “She’s the One: A chance encounter on a hot New York night”, the reader is immediately drawn in. For the first few seconds, I find myself forgetting that I’m reading the article to analyze Vogue’s FOB mannerisms. The story spans three full pages, separated by ads placed in between, and is truly an exquisite, captivating story about a woman who falls in love with a married woman during the 2003 Northeast blackout. When I finish reading, I think to myself how amazing it would be to find a love like that of Ariel Levy’s. I also think about how beautiful of a job Ariel’s photographer did in shooting her portrait, which is the first thing the reader sees before actually reading the story. I honestly believe it was this picture that bought me into reading the article, more than the title.
A couple of ads later, we get another FOB story but this time it’s a tribute to the specific categories of fashion and beauty. The first story we get is about the designer, Glenn Martens, who’s just completed his Spring collection of clothing. We hear about where he got his inspiration to create the Y/Project and are met with pleasing pictures of famous models like Jourdan Dunn and Adwoa Aboah, wearing some of his pieces. Then, we move onto another story featuring Hann Gaby Odiele, an intersex model who has walked runways from Prada to Chanel. The story also includes stunning visuals of Odiele surrounded by her bridesmaids during her wedding this past July, and a still shot of her wearing an outfit designed by Dior.
I stop for a minute and think about how the magazine decided that these stories were Front of the Book worthy pieces. I conclude that each of the articles are attention-grabbing, and are about people. As people, we are drawn to the stories and lives of other people.
As I continue flipping though the magazine, I see two more short stories: one is related to food and the other, beauty. Both are articles about products and have a small picture complementing their story, but I’m not drawn to read either. Next, there is the “People are Talking About” section, which includes short paragraphs on the latest trending Art, Theatre, Music, Books, Travel and more. I flip through about ten more pages of ads, and finally reach the feature story.
My analysis of the Front of the Book lineup of Vogue Magazine is that the magazine tends to choose stories about people and the editors and writers at Vogue are wonderfully, cunning mind-readers. They know what their readers like to see.