Memo Pad: Quiet Makeover... Party Pooper... Nasty Business...

While some magazines trumpet a redesign or change in appearance, Lucky has been conducting a quiet evolution on its cover and inside pages since the August 2006 issue.

Luckys Chic Meets Street ad campaign will launch during New York Fashion Week

Lucky's "Chic Meets Street" ad campaign will launch during New York Fashion Week.

Photo By WWD Staff

QUIET MAKEOVER: While some magazines trumpet a redesign or change in appearance, Lucky has been conducting a quiet evolution on its cover and inside pages since the August 2006 issue. The front of the book was the first to change, with handwriting-like type on pages such as "my foolproof outfit," nixed in favor of a more structured font, along with a shift toward softer colors and no text-boxes for "what I want now." One month later, editors got rid of the bold color borders on edit pages. And while Kim France claimed Lucky has never been "a hotly focus-grouped magazine," she still hedged her bets: the editor in chief commissioned focus groups to approve or challenge what was happening. And, surprise, the research determined readers consider Lucky a shopping magazine, but also look to it as a place to learn about style.

Also predictably, the results of that research soon landed on the cover. Beginning in January, cover alterations began appearing, with the box around the phrase, "The Magazine About Shopping," as the first to go. A few months later, a new, shortened logo appeared and in July, the top of the cover was updated to — of course — "The Magazine About Shopping and Style." The September issue was the first cover to appear without the advertiser-friendly cover flap.

So far readers appear to approve what they're seeing, as newsstand sales are up 11.9 percent to 250,843 and overall circulation rose 9.4 percent during the first half of this year, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Through June, the only stumbling block seemed to be the May cover with Avril Lavigne. The magazine's circulation was actually up 1.8 percent over May 2006; however, it was the smallest increase during the first half of the year. "We do well when we feature an unpolarizing celebrity," offered France, regarding Lavigne. The January issue, with Katherine Heigl, was the most successful, up 24.9 percent from the January 2006 issue.

While France has been busy tending to edit changes, vice president and publisher Sandy Golinkin began seeking out her own market research more than a year ago. Her findings have become part of Lucky's latest ad campaign — its first since the magazine launched. The campaign, called "Chic Meets Street," will break during New York Fashion Week. Staying with the tradition of using "real" women as models, Lucky asked Scott Schuman, contributing editor at GQ, to shoot stylish women he found in New York, from a painter to a public relations director. The campaign is aimed at getting advertisers to see beyond the old "shopping title" phrase, and instead, see the magazine "as a reality-based title where editors create a community of style and readers can participate in that," Golinkin said.
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