Today, the New York Times covered Elle magazine’s highly visible success at utilizing the power of television. First came Nina Garcia on Project Runway, which was followed by Stylista, and after that, MTV debuted the New York City-based Hills spinoff, The City. Truth be told, our favorite moments on Whitney Port‘s reality show happen on the 44th floor of New York City’s Paramount Plaza.
“People judge everything you do in fashion. Everything,” Robbie Myers, Elle’s editor in chief, told the Times. So to continue where they left off, here are six reasons we think Elle has got it going on — plus one piece of constructive criticism.
“Television is still the most powerful medium to get your brand out there,” Liz Gateley, MTV’s senior vice president for series development told The New York Times. “And I think Robbie [Myers] is a smart enough editor to know the power of the medium.”
And oh what power that medium has had. Since joining MTV’s reality family, Elle reports a 35 percent increase in audience in women ages 18 to 24 — not to mention an increase in their website’s traffic and the overall visibility of the publication.
“I thought it was a good idea for us to do ‘Project Runway.’ That was not necessarily the popular view around here. But my feeling was that we should be in as many mediums as we could be as a brand when appropriate,” Myer’s said. “We want exposure.” And exposure they got.
2. Joe Zee’s Twitter Account
We at Styleite are constantly looking out for pro-tweeter Joe Zee‘s latest updates on Twitter. From reports about his fabulously chic life, to runway commentary, and everything in between, we’re always guaranteed a great piece of fashion information or, at the very least, a good laugh from @mrjoezee.
3. Staying Controversial
All too often we see magazines enter into some controversial battle just for the sake of being noticed. That’s not the case with Elle. Case in point: Robbie Myers’ appearance on The Today Show back in May. After citing Elle Macpherson as “not a skinny girl,” the editor in chief got blasted. And while we may not agree with her statement — Elle Macpherson not skinny? Come on! — we appreciate that she’s not afraid to speak her mind.
Nothing like a Twilight cover girl to keep your audience happy. Elle has been skewing younger, making sure to keep the up and coming generation happy by utilizing digital media and keeping their cover stars hot and young. Proof: two of our earlier points regarding twitter and television, and their young cover girls who include Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Kristen Stewart.
How many times is Elle.com is mentioned on one episode of The City ? Barely a sentence comes out of Erin Kaplan’s mouth without a mention of the magazine’s website which is quick to feature large segments about up and coming young designers. Elle.com has unique content that you can’t find in the magazine as well as a blog for quick News Bites about everything from Tommy Ton‘s street shoots to Olivier Theyskens childhood dreams.
6. The Intelligence Section
Too often magazines dumb themselves down, opting for large spreads and light fashion commentary rather than any hard hitting fashion news. Enter Elle’s Intelligence Section, which features an entire section devoted to must-read books. Think Vogue meets Vanity Fair, with a touch of Harper’s Bazaar‘s Hot List and you’ve got Elle’s Intelligence.
And the one thing they’re doing wrong: Olivia Palermo.
Since no one is perfect and there’s always room for improvements, we offer a suggestion to the magazine that’s doing so many things so well. Fake fire your fake employees — or maybe just make sure The City doesn’t recast Olivia Palermo in her annoying role as pseudo Elle.com/Accessories-something. [Ed Note: Does anyone know what her actual title is on the show?] Louise Roe is a thousand times better and having an employee who doesn’t “feel like doing an interview,” (or just doesn’t like Whitney Port) makes the magazine seem a tad unprofessional.