During and interview with BBC Radio 2, Alexandra Shulman chatted with guest presenter and singer Lily Allen about what kinds of magazine covers sell.
Shulman explained that her favorite covers are the more artsy ones, but those never do as well. There is a “balancing act between creativity and sales.”
“If I knew exactly what sold it would be like having the secret of the universe, but I’d say broadly speaking, if you’re going to talk about a model or a personality, it’s kind of a quite middle view of what beauty is,” the editrix said.
“So girl next-doory,” Allen chimed in.
“The most perfect next-door,” Shulman elaborated. “Better than yourself.”
“People always say ‘why do you have thin models? That’s not what real people look like’ but nobody really wants to see a real person looking like a real person on the cover of Vogue.”
Shulman said that cover stars are used to attract the readers who don’t normally purchase your magazine.
“People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free.”
The editor credits April’s flawless cover girl, Nigella Lawson, as being “totally a real person.”
Allen admits that she feels better when she sees a heavier model and worse when she sees a thin one. Shulman says she isn’t affected either way. When asked if she is tired of having to defend Vogue and the fashion industry, she said,
“I get fed up with having to deal with the question of why are models thin, that sort of bores me, but that’s the only thing really.”
Shulman does think that designers should “cut bigger” and feature larger models on the catwalk. She says it’s insane that someone like Allen can’t fit into sample size garments. She understands that people are annoyed by thin models saying,
“I can’t understand why designers don’t get a bit more real about it.”
Anyone else see the irony here?