Battle of the glossies: what do we know about fashion's new editors?


2017 has brought significant change for the magazine world, as two major British glossies appointed new editors earlier this month. In January of this year, Alexandra Shulman announced she was moving on from British Vogue after 25 years at the publication.  After much speculation, her successor was announced in April as ex-W Magazine editor, Edward Enninful. Over at Elle UK, the title’s fashion director, Anne-Marie Curtis has been promoted to the role of editor-in-chief, while the previous editor, Lorraine Candy, has moved onto The Sunday Times, where she will be luxury content director and editor-in-chief of the paper’s Style magazine.

These hotly-contested roles were sought by the crème de la crème of international fashion journalism, so what led to the appointment of Enninful and Curtis? We’ve turned to Starcount’s data to understand the unique appeal of these new editors and to predict the impact they may have on their respective titles in the future.

British Vogue: From Alexandra Shulman to Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful is renowned for his wide social circle and vast influence within the fashion set. This is reflected by his digital following; Enninful has a greater impact on social than Alexandra Shulman, with his appointment indicating a shift within Vogue towards a younger, trendier crowd and more modern approach.

When we focus on Twitter, over half of Enninful’s followers already follow Vogue, while almost 75% of Shulman’s followers also follow the title – a percentage that is unsurprising, as her social presence will have been consistently aligned with her role as editor. On the other hand, only 2% of Vogue fans currently follow Enninful. While this percentage seems low, it’s not as alarming as it sounds; only 1% of Vogue followers also follow Shulman, despite her 25-year reign at the magazine, indicating that Vogue readers will stay loyal to the title no matter who is at the helm.

Starcount’s insight into consumer passions reveals that there is a positive correlation between Enninful’s current fans and Vogue readers, signifying that the new editor is a strong overall fit for the Vogue brand. Vogue readers connect with both Shulman and Enninful fans over their passion for celebrity gossip, with key stars for this passion being a range of other high-profile glossies including Interview Magazine and Elle.

Alexandra Shulman

Alexandra Shulman

Although both Vogue readers and Enninful fans are drawn to luxury fashion brands, there are some key differences in their favourite brands. While Vogue readers love established designers such as Gucci and Chanel, and more affordable brands like Topshop and ASOS, Enninful fans combine their love of high-profile fashion houses with up-and-coming, trendy designers like Mary Katrantzou and JW Anderson. What’s more, Vogue readers favour instore experiences at luxury department stores like Selfridges, while Enninful’s audience like to browse online, with Net-a-Porter being their favourite website. Overall, Starcount’s insight points towards a stronger digital strategy and a focus on supporting emerging fashion talent when Enninful takes the reins at Vogue.

The above is supported by the demographics of Enninful’s fans, who over-index in the 18-24-year-old category by 25%. Both Vogue and Shulman’s audiences, on the other hand, over-index by only 7%. By tapping into his broad social reach and continuing to work with social media influencers such as Gigi Hadid, Enninful can help to expand Vogue’s readership to include a younger, aspirational group of consumers.    

Elle UK: From Lorraine Candy to Anne-Marie Curtis

Anne-Marie Curtis

Anne-Marie Curtis

Much like Edward Enninful, Lorraine Candy has established herself as a strong social presence; she has roughly 3 times as many followers as her successor, 62% of whom also follow Elle UK. While Anne-Marie Curtis has long worked at Elle as the fashion director, only 32% of her followers also follow the magazine, just over half of the number of Lorraine’s fans who do so. However, this figure still indicates a strong link between Curtis and Elle, and is a strong foundation on which to build new readers.

Only 19% of Style readers currently follow Candy, but she may well bring a chunk of her audience with her as she assumes her new position: nearly 40% of her fans are also Style readers.

According to Starcount’s data, Elle UK readers love beauty, celebrity gossip and fashion, passions which are similar to those enjoyed by Curtis fans. Surprisingly, however, although she was fashion director at Elle for almost 12 years, Curtis’ followers prefer to focus their attention on interior design rather than keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

As we examine Candy’s audience, it’s good news for Style: the passions of Style readers are almost exactly mirrored with those of Candy’s fans, with both groups loving beauty, celebrity gossip and house and home.

Lorraine Candy

Lorraine Candy

Net-a-Porter is the most important brand for fans of Elle UK, Lorraine Candy and Anne-Marie Curtis, indicating an aligned approach at Elle Headquarters. However, Style readers prefer to browse for high-end fashion in person at luxury department stores, such as Liberty London. As the new luxury content director for The Sunday Times, Candy may promote a more digital approach to designer shopping when she moves to Style.

Unsurprisingly after her tenure as editor, the ages of Candy’s and Elle UK’s fans are very similar, with both groups attracting an older audience and only over-indexing in the 18-24-year-old category by 8%. Interestingly, Curtis may help Elle to attract a younger audience when she assumes her new role, as her followers over-index in the same age group by almost 22%. Style magazine, however, will benefit from Candy’s more mature audience as they increase their focus on luxury shopping.

Starcount will be holding an exclusive breakfast briefing on 14th June, showcasing our insight into how Londoners spend their money. To register your interest, please email jade.wood@starcount.com.