MAGAZINE REVIEW – PORTER

Issue One

Cost: £5

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Online luxury retailer Net a porter http://www.net-a-porter.com has just unveiled the cover for its first venture into the world of print publishing.

The site, which publishes a weekly web-only magazine called The Edit, teased the debut issue of its highly anticipated print publication Porter last week over social media.  I had been scouring Instagram for the last 5 days counting down the days. The magazine, officially landed today Feb. 7, scored supermodel Gisele Bundchen as its first cover star. It plans to run six issues per year.  Its content promises to be on par with the top fashion titles out there. With Editor in Chief Lucy Yeomans (formerly of Harper’s Bazaar UK) at the helm, Porter‘s debut contains editorials featuring Uma Thurman and Julianne Moore, boasts an interview with Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz, and work by top photographers like David Bailey.

The glossy is an interesting move for Net-a-Porter. The greatly anticipated magazine arrived today, dubbed to be the next vogue magazine it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Porter costs £5 and will be available in 20,000 stockists in 60 countries around the world, including newsagents and supermarkets.

The magazine is aimed at “sophisticated women of the world”. As well as Net-A-Porter it features all brands, whether they’re stocked on Net-A-Porter or not.  Porter uses image-recognition software so readers can use their smartphone to find out information and buy products that are featured in the print magazine just by pointing the camera at an object on the page. Net-A-Porter has six million website visitors a month.

Porter’s launch was expected last autumn but was delayed. The mag trade: “Net-a-Porter’s new glossy magazine set to be a serious rival to Vogue. The luxurious 284-page Porter will launch today in 220 cities and 60 countries and it is the first issue of the most controversial and gossiped-about magazine to hit fashion, well, this century.”

My entry in the Porter Incredible Woman Cover contest

My entry in the Porter Incredible Woman Cover contest

Unfold that cover and there is a further two-page picture of Miss Bundchen lying face down on a shaggy sofa. It’s not bland though; there are some good ‘gets’, for sure – contributors include Steve McQueen, Harvey Weinstein, David Bailey, Penelope Cruz and Claudia Schiffer.

There’s an interestingly unexpected (particularly for a fashion magazine) interview with the financial broker Amanda Staveley, on her role in the controversial 2008 bail-out of Barclays, and an entertaining opener about the death of privacy in a social media age.  Any reader used to existing fashion magazines – e.g. Vogues, Bazaars, InStyles or Elles – should find Porter a pretty playful read: and something new to boot.

Deft touches include the use of old-fashioned illustrations, and a huge opening fashion section that’s blessedly unburdened by clunky think-pieces about the meaning of florals. Instead it features a well-thought out selection of clothes and accessories with confidently pithy captions to moot why these are items you need – or at least wish you had – in your life. Published every two months, Porter will also be for sale via its parent, Net-A-Porter.com: a point-of-sale that is frequented, it says, by 6 million international fashion-loving women every month. Between Chanel on the inside front cover and Dior on the back, I counted exactly 50 top-tier fashion and luxury advertisers in this first issue of Porter. Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue, has sniffed that the Porter project sounds like “a grand Sainsbury’s magazine”.

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It’s not just that Gisele Bundchen is the cover star, so much that the big names jump out of almost every page: there’s Manolo Blahnik on shoes, Eva Herzigova on her tuxedo style, and Victoria Beckham on technology. Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry lead the high-end advertisers. Away from the cover, the models include Claudia Schiffer, Penélope Cruz and Karlie Kloss. Vogue did manage, however, to tie up Kate Moss by hiring her as its fashion editor and publishing her first shoot days before Porter’s launch. Let battle commence.

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@PORTERmagazine

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