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Harper's Bazaar's Runway Report Goes Digital

After publishing the print version for five years, publisher Carol Smith said, “It was time.”

DIGITAL DAWN: Harper’s Bazaar’s Runway Report has gone digital. After publishing the print version for five years, publisher Carol Smith said, “It was time.”

“Clearly, it was time to rethink it,” Smith said. “The newsstand is challenging for every magazine. Since this made all its money by selling to 100,000 to 200,000 women on the newsstand,” Bazaar was looking for other alternatives. “It did OK,” she admitted of the newsstand sell-through, “just OK.”

Smith wondered if there was a way to do the report less expensively with fewer pages. At a meeting at Lord & Taylor, executives said they wanted to raise the retailer’s fashion quotient and drive shoppers to the L&T Web site and stores. And they wanted to focus on digital. Runway Report, Bazaar’s first click-to-buy electronic special interest publication (eSIP), was born.

Six Harper’s Bazaar Reports are planned, including two dedicated to each of three categories: runway collections, beauty and luxury extras.

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The current report includes fashion tips from Suzanne Timmins, senior vice president and fashion director of Hudson’s Bay Co., parent of Lord & Taylor, along with advice from other fashion directors.

Smith said it’s not an advertorial. “It’s custom publishing,” she said. “They [L&T] don’t see the content beforehand and they don’t have approval on it. We keep our editorial integrity, but L&T is very involved in the direction of the report. It’s a partnership that works.”

The Runway Report is available for download with the October issue of Bazaar, and can also be viewed at runwayreport.harpersbazaar.com. Each page directly drives readers to lordandtaylor.com, where they can purchase looks inspired by the issue.

The special publication is just the latest indication of how Bazaar is pushing e-commerce in the new digital era. The October issue with Miley Cyrus proclaims in a bold cover line: “Best Shopping at Every Price: Buy It Now at Shop.Bazaar.com Our Online Store.”

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