Filed under: Services
Filed under: Decor
From its premiere issue in April 1991 (now up to 54 issues, with each issue typically priced between $150 - $350), Visionaire "challenged notions of what it meant to be an art and fashion publication and was conceived of as a venue for artists such as Mario Testino and Steven Meisel to publish personal work," WSJ stated. It has morphed into something more like a design challenge for its many contributors.
Each issue (which can take between nine months and three years to complete) is typically a mixed-media riff on a theme, posing an ongoing set of challenges to a small crew of designers. For example, White began with the question: How do you publish without using ink? Answer: a combination of Braille, embossing, varnish and paper-cut illustrations. Scent came with perfume capsules, Taste had specially-designed flavor-strips and Sound featured a Mini Cooper toy car that played record albums.
It seems the magazine threw itself a party the other night at members only club Soho House to celebrate its latest issue. The event was attended by Anabel Vartanian, dubbed the "Dizzy Diamond Heiress" by the New York Observer; attention-loving Internet celebrity Emily Brill; and someone with the implausible moniker "Princess Charlotte de Broglie" - basically exactly the crowd one would expect at a soirée for something called Social Life.
Intrigued, we looked up the magazine's website, where we came across the following emetic mission statement: "Our readers turn to Social Life to see photos of themselves, their friends, and their families - we feature pictures of exclusive charity events, elegant dinner parties, the exuberance of Polo [sic] and the hottest nights at high-end clubs."
In other words: "We write about People Like Us." Or, more accurately perhaps, "What people who are more like us than they think think People Like Us are like."
As it turns out, our Russian friend is entering a fairly crowded field. Following some suggestions we received, we now present a further assortment of Snob rags for your viewing pleasure.
Warning: subscribing to the full collection of all ten may result in you're being charged under some sort of arcane sumptuary law. Or it should, anyway.
Gallery: More Magazines for Snobs
Russian precious metals mogul Mikhail Prokhorov, ranked as the 24th richest man in the world with a $22 billion fortune, is set to launch a magazine called Snob for his fellow plutocrats. Prokhorov plans to invest $150 million in the venture, which will eventually include a website and TV station as well, Reuters reports. Andrei Shmarov, who's helming the project, says the magazine will be for "people who are successful and those who want to be successful."
Shmarov is at pains to point out that in Russia, "snob" isn't a pejorative term. "Snob to us means a person who is a 'self-made man', a person who has gained a right to snobbishness," he explains. "It's not pleasant to boast about your wealth when you have inherited it but when you have made it yourself, well it is still not very nice, but it is justified." At least in a country where a measly billion dollars won't even land you a spot on the rich list. Check out their competition below.
Gallery: Magazines for Snobs
Certainly over the past few years, House & Garden hasn't seemed quite as luxurious as it once did. Without the boozy reminiscences of one Jay McInerney, there really isn't that much in the magazine that can't be found elsewhere, especially in Arch Digest, which with the heavier and glossier paper and more lavish photography makes it more of a magazine set for taking up residence on the coffee table (and which was the magazine that did H&G in for the first time when it folded in 1993 after Condé Nast acquired AD). Also in terms of the two magazines websites, Arch Digest is the far more streamlined and contains more eyecandy images and video.
My question is whether or not the traditional "shelter" magazines in general are in trouble. There are several key indicators that could indicate that this is the case. The first would be the unsteady real estate market and the fact that many people are cutting back on renovating or remodeling their homes because they are not certain that they will receive a return on their investment when the sell. Also younger home owners are more and more accustomed to getting their home information and inspiration on the web where a variety of sites offer not just images of homes but the chance to immediately purchase the things you see and to submit your own pictures and receive feedback and help. Also as more and more people think about sustainable living and greening of their homes they might be inclined to turn toward Dwell. What shelter/lifestyle magazines do you read and do you think this is just an isolated case of Condé Nast trimming the fat or a more endemic problem effecting the entire industry?
Filed under: Decor