Is Harper’s Bazaar the New Us Weekly?
While ad pages take a nosedive and the general relevancy of print media remains the favorite punching bag of self-satisfied bloggers all around the globe, magazines struggle to stay afloat in the instant gratification era of free online content. Some cut back in ways so absurd it only draws attention to how ridiculous the day-to-day costs of running a magazine can be under the control of a megalomaniac publisher/editor (see: And It All Came Tumbling Down, One Red Bull at a Time) and others simply lay down and die (RIP my true great loves, Domino and Jane).
And, in some cases, a magazine will resort to methods so desperately crass, you can only feel an apathetic flash of mild pity towards the rag’s editors who likely know they’re a mere two months away from losing their shiny fashion jobs and taking freelance gigs at Reader’s Digest about the complications of geriatric gastrointestinitis.
One such case: Harper’s Bazaar. I can only imagine the confidence-shaking difficulties of standing in the shadows of Vogue and playing second fiddle to Queen Wintour. But Bazaar surely isn’t helping its rep when they send out their July 2009 issue with a paparazzi shot of Angelina Jolie as the cover. Sure, it’s one way to cut costs. It’s also a way to align yourself with the In Touch Weekly’s and Life & Style’s of the world. Kudos to you, Glenda Bailey!
And then, to add a cherry to the top of Bazaar’s cesspool of a reputation, they go ahead and send out the above cover for the September issue. Upon first glance, those hacks are up to it again, choosing a ‘razzi shot for their cover. Yet, upon some quick Googling, it turns out the pic is actually shot by renowned (up until this very moment) photographer Terry Richardson. Yes, as in the same Terry Richardson whose raunchy snapshot aesthetic spawned American Apparel’s entire ‘70s porno-esque ad campaign. A big thank-you there, Mr. Richardson.
Slapping a paparazzi shot, or even a legit photo that resembles a red carpet shot, on a magazine cover surely is a manifestation of the old saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” But if you ask me, Bazaar’s backslide into weekly gossip rag territory is a sure sign that this fashion mag has no chance in hell of making it back to the comfy spot of #2.
Posted by Amelia