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Vogue Is Raising the Price of Its Print Magazine

Vogue Magazine's May 2016 issue.
Vogue Magazine's May 2016 issue.
Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

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Major news for fashion magazine ride-or-dies who still buy physical subscriptions: American Vogue will be making some major changes over the next few months.

Business of Fashion sat down with Susan Plagemann, Vogue's publisher and chief revenue officer, in an exclusive interview to discuss several strategies the magazine is taking to evolve in today's changing media environment.

Their first change? A new, oversized look for their print issues (9" by 10 7/8" instead of their usual 8" by 10 7/8"). This size increase won't come for free, though. They'll also be raising the price of the magazine from $5.99 to $6.99 (the notoriously thick September issue will be a whopping $9.99).

Devoted Vogue subscribers will be paying close to $84 a year on fashion editorials and celebrity interviews. That's $24 more than a yearly subscription to The New Yorker (!!!).

Both publications are owned by Condé Nast, who has been under some pressure lately — closing Lucky and Details in 2015 because they weren't as profitable. But all of these changes and investments just reflect Vogue's belief in the power of print.

"We don't do Vogue Lite," Plagemann told BOF. "We have one brand, we have one core DNA, and we don't deviate from that. How the editors make that palatable in an Instagram post versus online versus in the magazine is up to their creative discretion. But it's still Vogue. I don't think that has changed."

A quick glance at Vogue.com today will reveal a completely new technique that involves covering one topic — like today's Taylor Swift magazine cover — and reporting on it exhaustively from a bunch of different angles, which range from fashion ("Taylor Swift Has No Bad Blood With Her A-List Squad") to beauty ("Taylor Swift Wears Red Lipstick to Do Everything—Really"). They've done this in the past, too, with people like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.

Plagemann says the strategy is working, with Vogue's website seeing 700% growth over the last three years.

"We will look at something 88 times before we decide to do it because we have an incredible jewel to protect and promote and make sure we don't move at the whims of a trend," Plagemann says. "Those who are successful give people what they need before they ask for it."

You can read the rest of the interview here.