On Wednesday, Business of Fashion reported a designer or brand can have their lookbook or collection images uploaded to Vogue’s Runway website and app twice annually for $20,000. This has reportedly been an option for at least three seasons, and it's unclear how many brands have paid to have their photos on the site. BoF notes for the "spring 2019 ready-to-wear season for womenswear, Vogue Runway listed about 480 brands, according to the site’s index, versus about 445 the same season two years."
"Experts and brands will always prioritize using and referring to the genuine, ‘clean’ image directly from Getty, Imaxtree, or Vogue,” a content strategist who works with fashion publishers told BoF. “I think the past five years has proven that ... the brand equity that Vogue has is parallel to few." To appear on Vogue Runway is an act of legitimizing business, dating back to when the site was part of Style.com in 2000. Images usually appear on the website just after the show ends and before the in-depth review and analysis of the collection appears. The article clarifies that brands cannot pay for reviews, just to have their image shown to the website's reported 2.5 million unique visitors during fashion week (or by any of the 1.8 million people said to have downloaded the corresponding Vogue Runway app).
It isn't a secret the publishing industry is facing challenges generating income as print magazines subscriptions decline and ad dollars shift. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported Condé Nast will be putting up paywalls on all of its titles – which include Vogue, GQ and Glamour — by the end of 2019. Condé has already tested this business model with The New Yorker, Wired, and Vanity Fair, which each allow for a few-free-articles-a month before readers hit the pay wall.
"In a sense, everything is free and nothing is free, depending on your consumption during a defined time period," Condé Nast’s Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing Monica Ray told WSJ. Last year, Condé Nast lost $120 million, but according to WSJ, the media company expects to be profitable again by 2020. So, sure, you'll be able to read Condé Nast's fashion content again, but it will cost you.