Iâve written so many editorials about Lucireâs history for our various anniversaries that now weâve turned 15, I feel like Iâd just be going over old ground. Again. Iâd do it maybe for the 20th or 21st, but the story has been told online and in print many times.
But 15 is a bit more of an occasion than, say, the ninthâso it deserves some recognition. The biggie this week is not so much that we have turned 15, but that we have officially announced a print-on-demand edition to complement our others in print and online, one that sees Lucire printed off as itâs ordered. It combines what we knowâthe digital worldâwith an analogue medium that everyone understands. It also gets around that sad reality that for every 1,000 copies printed, 500 usually wind up getting returned due to being unsold and pulped. In publishing, two-thirds sold qualifies as having âsold outâ. And thatâs not really that great for the first fashion magazine that the United Nations Environment Programme calls an industry partner.
Weâre also celebrating the Ipad and Android editions, which actually launched in August but we didnât get an announcement out till September. We also dĂ©buted a PDF download via Scopalto in France, and thereâs one more edition that weâll announce before the year is out.
So rather than look backâwhich is what we found ourselves doing at the 10th anniversary, at a time when the recession was about to bite and there was just an inkling of a fear that our best days were behind usâweâre now looking forward with some relish and wondering just how these new editions will play out.
If I were to take a look back to 1997, it would be to remark that being the first (at least for New Zealand) does not necessarily translate to being the most profitable. You carve out a niche that no one else had done before, prove a point, and someone else makes it work a bit better. So is the lesson in commerce.
It used to bug me but no more; we have a good record of doing things in a pioneering fashion, and when you look at Lucire, itâs one of the very few fashion titles from the original dot-com era thatâs still being published today, and in more forms than we had imagined. We were always happy to put value labels right next to pricier ones in coverage or in editorials, because that is how real people dress, and because we based our coverage on merit rather than advertising budgets. We looked at the advertising market at a global, rather than regional, level, something which we see some agencies taking advantage of as greater convergence happens in that market.
I like to think that some day, all magazines will be printed as weâre doing them, but from more bases around the world, to alleviate the burden on our resources. Theyâll be, as I predicted many years back, mini, softcover coffee-table books, publications to covet, and be less temporary. (I also said newspapers will become more like news magazines, but I live in a city where dailies are still printed as broadsheets, which reminds me that predictions can often take a lot longer to be realized.) Features will dominate ahead of short-term, flash-in-the-pan news, a path which the 28th New Zealand-produced Lucire issue takes, and something foreshadowed by Twinpalms Lucire in Thailand five years ago.
Weâre also in a very enviable position with a cohesive team. You could say itâs taken us 15 years to find them. At 1 p.m. local time on October 20â15 years and one hour after we launchedâour London team met to toast our 15th anniversary, while fashion editor Sopheak Seng, Louise Hatton, Michael Beel and Natalie Fisher worked on a photo shoot today in New Zealand for issue 29. Around the world, our team continues to deliver regular content, and I hope theyâll forgive me for not naming everyone as I fear accidental omissions. Just as I felt a little uncertain but excited about where things would lead with Lucire on October 21, 1997âthe 20th in the USâI have a similar feeling today. And thatâs a good thing, because if weâve managed to get on the radars of millions in those last 15 years, Iâm hopeful of the changes we can effect in the next 15.