If any of you were still worried that there was going to be some kind of all-out street fight between the editors at Style.com and the people who manage the newly minted Vogue.com, you can now rest easy. Style.com is making a move from Conde Nast Digital to the Fairchild Fashion Group.
Now, the two sites will still be parts of the same media family — Conde Nast’s parent company Advance Publications has owned Fairchild since 1999. In the 11 years that have passed the two divisions have traded titles like playing cards. W and the now-defunct Cookie were both Fairchild publications before being folded into Conde Nast’s wallet, and Details was set up to do a stint at Fairchild after its temporary shutdown in 2000. And both Vogue and W shared a URL when Style.com served as a homepage for both magazines.
More than anything else, the move represents a delineation of the the company’s products. Conde Nast is great at churning out stunning consumer publications like Vanity Fair and GQ, while Fairchild publishes business-minded newspapers like WWD and Footwear News, as well as a library full of books about the industry. Our best guess is that while Vogue.com will get more in touch with consumers, Style.com will become the first site serious fashion insiders check after every party, product launch and media battle in the business. After all, they’re already using the site’s obsessive catalog of every single runway outfit as a sort of reference library.
But the shift leaves our friends at Fashionista wonder whether users will have to start paying to use the site. Other Fairchild titles have web paywalls, but the powers that be say that while WWD’s talent and resources are likely to be shared with Style.com, the two will remain distinct properties.
Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. We just hope this doesn’t throw any kinks into that reality show they’ve been planning.