BIG Changes Ahead For This Old-School Fashion Site

Photo: Courtesy of Style.com.
It looks like the end for the grande dame of fashion websites. Today, Business of Fashion announced that Style.com as we know it will be folded under the Vogue.com umbrella starting this fall — at which point the Style.com domain will become the home of parent company Condé Nast's new e-commerce destination.

Under the new arrangement, Style.com's runway content will migrate to a new URL, Voguerunway.com, where it'll combine with editorial coverage from Vogue — together forming what's described in an internal Condé email as "the definitive digital fashion destination." These changes will happen at an unspecified time this fall, with Style.com continuing to publish as usual until then.

Launching in the U.K. first, and rolling out to the U.S. in early 2016, Condé Nast's long-promised entrée into e-commerce will connect readers to a curated mix of fashion, beauty, tech, and lifestyle products. Rather than directly selling inventory to consumers, Condé Nast will earn commissions on purchases made through the site. And, it's investing major money into this venture: over $100 million in two to three years according to CN chair Jonathan Newhouse — more than the company pays to launch a new magazine, BoF points out.

The move is seen as an attempt to eliminate overlapping content between Vogue.com and Style.com, which have had a long and complicated relationship over the years. Style launched in September 2000 and served as the online home of Vogue magazine until Vogue.com's launch in 2010. Of late, Vogue.com has enjoyed a steady uptick in unique visitors, now sitting at a healthy six million per month. At the same time, Style.com's expansion into editorial content has meant that the two have competed for dominance as Condé's flagship fashion brand. This announcement makes clear that Condé Nast is throwing its weight behind the more-popular Vogue.com. As CN president Bob Sauerberg told BoF:

"Vogue.com in the U.S. is going through a massive growth period. We are investing into it and expanding it to create that as our premium digital fashion destination. It’s about getting behind Vogue.com and taking much of the content at Style.com and bringing that content and the audience over to Vogue."

As for what this means for Style.com's staff, BoF reports that the new structure "will result in some redundancies at Style.com...though [Condé Nast] declined to disclose details, saying only that most of the Style.com team will join American Vogue to work on voguerunway.com."

So, it's a fond farewell to the site whose runway photos and reviews nurtured many an editor's love of fashion. Updating our bookmarks to the rather more unwieldy Voguerunway.com in 5, 4, 3... (BoF)
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