A study from 2018 shows that magazine readership is well above 200 million worldwide. Designers can benefit from regularly checking on certain fashion magazines to study the latest trends as well as to obtain knowledge about a variety of industry-related experiences. While there are plenty of other resources available for designers, magazines remain one of the most timeless and consistently relevant sources of trending information.
When it comes to fashion magazines, there are two overarching categories to consider:
Well-known titles that have established credibility over many decades, such as Vogue or Harper's Bazaar
Independent magazines that can provide niche and focused fashion information, depending on your needs
Overall, you have many magazine options at your disposal, but those listed below provide consistently relevant information and are a great starting point for new designers.
Well-Known Fashion Magazine Titles
The magazines with long-standing credibility are a good place to start reading or subscribing. This list includes the magazines that provide the most resources for designers, not necessarily every major fashion magazine, as some of those are more appropriate for a casual fashion consumer. The titles below have various types of information worth checking out if you are serious about building a career in fashion design and entrepreneurship. Some of these most well-known fashion magazines are:
Elle and InStyle - Elle was founded in 1945 and is now published in 44 different countries. This magazine provides the reader with the latest fashion trends in women’s fashion and relevant women’s issues. Fashion apparel that this magazine focuses on include women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories trending worldwide. InStyle is another magazine that highlights various trends, just with a bigger focus on celebrities.
Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair - Harper’s Bazaar brings tangible advice from world-renown designers and beauty experts. This is a great choice for newer designers to learn from the best in the industry. This is also one of the main magazines that target the upper-middle class, so there may be additional insights regarding luxury brands. Vanity Fair is another magazine that provides advice and insights from industry experts as well as maintaining a similar tone to Harper’s Bazaar.
Vogue - Vogue is arguably the biggest source for all things women’s fashion. It is likely if you work in the fashion space, you will come across this magazine often anyway. However, it is still important to consider it for all things women’s fashion including news, trends, profiles, and advice.
Allure and NewBeauty - Both of these titles promote beauty, health, and wellness for women. Their focus on beauty might give more cultural insights to designers and can be helpful to certain brands that promote similar topics and value aesthetics.
Cosmopolitan - Cosmopolitan covers various trends, styles, and news in women’s fashion. This magazine’s readership includes many consumers who like reading about fashion for fun rather than an artistic expression. There can be insights for fashion brands that push a more lighthearted tone in this magazine.
GQ and Esquire - Both of these magazines center on men’s fashion. Men’s fashion isn’t covered nearly as much in the fashion magazine space, so if you sell products designed for men, these are the two go-to sources for relevant trends.
Independent Fashion Magazines
In addition to the well-known fashion magazines in the mainstream, independent fashion magazines also provide valuable insights for fashion designers and entrepreneurs. There are many options available, but a select few promote artistic trends and cultural insights. Some independent fashion magazines with resourceful information include:
W - W is somewhat well known for women’s fashion, but it is worth noting here instead of above because of its focus on artistic trends. The magazine provides an authentic and bold look at the culture of fashion. It’s known for including controversial topics, which may be the reason it didn’t reach the same level of popularity as some of the other well-known titles. It is ultimately a bold magazine that covers various trends that could serve as artistic inspiration for designers.
Metal - Metal mixes high fashion with a focus on creativity and artistic direction. Similar to W magazine, it can provide artistic insights to help designers think more creatively.
Human Being and System - Human Being Magazine provides deep looks into the minds of various creators who work in fashion and can thus include useful insights to creative minds who are newer to the fashion space. System Magazine also provides similar insights by showcasing the culture and highlighting the voices of different creators.
Fashion magazines tend to have monthly publication cycles which make them critical, timely resources for designers. Especially as the fashion industry and its trends are constantly changing. Utilizing the resources listed in this blog can provide various insights for your brand, designs, and fashion entrepreneurship journey and will likely help assist you to truly realize your ultimate vision.
Yash Bansal is a marketing professional with a passion for writing content. He grew up near Houston, Texas. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and managing his blog, Yash Bansal Reviews, and hosting his podcast, Cinema Convos.