The Big September Issues Will Actually be on Newsstands… In September

This just in … the September issues of your favorite fashion glossies will actually be released in … September.


Work in the magazine industry for even a short time and two things quickly become clear:

  1. The September issues for the fashion industry are the most important (and biggest) of the year; and
  2. They always come out over the summer, some even as early as July.

Not this year, according to Kathryn Hopkins writing in WWD.

“Some publishers are pushing back the release dates of their most crucial issues of the year from August to September,” Hopkins writes, “allowing more time for ads and samples to roll in. It will also give editors additional time to shoot models and celebrities, a task that has been difficult to carry out during lockdown.”

It makes absolute sense, given the current challenges these publishers are facing.

“Our September issues will come out in September — something I’ve wanted to do for years,” said Carol Smith, the publisher of Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Elle

Still, Smith believes it won’t solve all their problems, saying “it’s going to be a tough 2020” as brands make up for “lost ground” due to the pandemic.

On a positive note, while some advertisers are scaling back their ad spend, Smith says they’ve only had three outright cancellations. “So, yes, there’s going to be a slight scale back. We have anticipated it and certainly projected that,” Smith explains.

Retailers seem to like the idea of a September launch; it may give more stores a chance to open and be operating at more normal levels.

“The arrival of September magazines actually in September fits in with the growing consensus in the fashion industry that deliveries of new collections should be closer to their seasons — hence, fall clothes arrive in stores in the fall, and not in July,” Hopkins notes.

Smith thinks the new schedule might a long-term change for the better. “I genuinely believe we should hold to this schedule and I think it does feel like finally fashion is going to change its delivery schedule and hopefully retailers will create new selling seasons so October isn’t when all of fall goes on sale,” she told Hopkins.

This is yet one more example of how we aren’t going back to normal; we are evolving… in the publishing industry and across the spectrum of our lives. Things have changed; the innovators are creating new solutions to keep pace.