Advice for Flare: “be more relevant”

A blogger critiques Flare, Vogue and Elle‘s September issues and suggests that Canada’s fashion authority need a complete overhaul.

In a blog entry for “i think you should“, “xobolaji” quotes fashion guru and American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who says that “September is the January of fashion.” The September issue sets the tone for the ‘fashion year’, the writer says, “any questions or queries or misgivings you may have about what to do, who to do, and what to wear whilst doing it— for the “beginning” of the fashion year, as it were, you need not fret because, the “Fashion Bible” as it is called in some circles, should be your go-to resource guide henceforth.”

In an unscientific analysis of three fashion mags the writer, who is Canadian, suggests that Vogue is fashion Queen and Elle her sassy, street-smart younger sister. Both offer a mix of journalism and fashion. Not so with Flare.

Flare should aspire to be where Elle is – albeit with more “consistent diversity”, the writer notes, adding:

“The thing about Flare is that it lacks a point of view. Not only does it suffer from a fashion personality disorder, but it is so overwhelmingly self-conscious in that too-polite Canadian way such that it crudely sustains the “fashion is credible metaphor” without any real material to back it up. I know, ouch. Sure, they’ve got the A List models, I mean, what model or actress wouldn’t want to be on the cover of a publication with a  sustainable readership even though according to a recent article reported by the Globe and Mail,  the “majority of Canadian magazines are seeing a circulation decline.” Yes, it’s got kick-ass fashion direction thanks to Elizabeth Cabral, but that is not enough. Or is it?”

The writer notes that while Elle and Vogue put multimillion dollar actresses on their September issue covers, Flare “decided to go with the “big boobed” Victoria’s Secret model, Doutzen Kroes boasting an “Exclusive A-List Angel” cover story with material that opens with the cover model’s diet description [pg 169]. Really Flare? You get an exclusive, and you think it’s important to begin the exclusive with what the girl eats?”

The writer notes that Flare editor Lisa Tant’s editorial trumpets the return of the bombshell, but “No such “report” could be found in Elle or Vogue. Didn’t Flare get the memo? Or did they just make it up because there wasn’t anything else “relevant” to write about with respect to Canadian culture? Yawn. Doutzen is gorgeous, but big whup?! She’s got boobs and she’s hot. Next!”

The writer dissects some of Flare‘s features, deciding that they didn’t offer any fresh or interesting ideas, adding:

“But the biggest letdown of all is that Canada’s Fashion Authority is sadly anything but. Canada, Toronto specifically, is the second most culturally diverse city next to Amsterdam. We don’t support a “melting pot” mentality, rather we encourage, boast and pride ourselves on being racially diverse, and multi-cultural. Walk through any suburban or downtown residential area and you will instantly experience a reflection of this concept. We intermingle, we inter-date, we inter-marry, and our lifestyles reflect that.”

Here are the writers suggestions (see the original article for explanations for each point):

1. Change the editorial content “Make it relevant. Make it good, Make it timely. Make it count.”

2. Get good writers

3. Hire a guest blogger to give good columns

4. Get a fresh young perspective on foodie’ism

5. Put a real marketing team in place

6. Lose the weird Curly Q font

7. Create a bit more desire

8. Add some edge

9. Make a stragetic alliance “with the likes of the sweet young fashion talent, Brittany Law, founder and editorial director of the online magazine StyleRepublic”

10. Mine the Fashion Blogs on a regular basis and tell us wassup! Or at the very least give us something they are not

11. Think outside the fashion box
“Whenever Canadian fashion wants to “invite” women in to discuss Topic ABC, you girls always invite the usual suspects who also happen to be your close friends.”

12. Fashion is an “elite” sport
“Create the illusion that there will always be something about fashion that I am not “worthy” of having. To that end, slapping a $2.99 red sticker at the top right hand corner of the magazine cover of the Biggest Fashion Issue Ever is so not incentive for any self-respecting chi-chi bitch in her right fashion mind, to make a purchase. ”