The French Alt-ernative

By Naubil Oropeza, Account Executive

Shock waves went through the fashion industry in December when Carine Roitfeld, beloved editor-in-chief and creator of the sexy chic movement that French Vogue has been know for, stepped down from her position at the magazine.

Patricia Goldman, the public relations agency that manages the Condé Nast magazine, said the mogul wanted to pursue personal projects and would be handing over her position. 
Roitfeld brought rigid structure and sex appeal to the magazine during her 10-year reign and increased circulation from roughly 100,000 to 140,000. 
So who would take over? All signs pointed to Roitfeld’s right-hand woman and fashion director, Emmanuelle Alt. 
Wearing the skinniest pants with a laid-back flair, Alt’s rocker style and contemporary views differ from Roitfeld, and her skills were put to the test Feb. 1 when she was announced as editor-in-chief. 
The April issue hit newsstands March 25. A glimpse at the new cover showed Gisele Bündchen wearing a white dress, reflecting a romanticism movement.
Alt hopes to transform the magazine’s image by cutting back on some of the risqué poses and nudity and bringing the fashion to focus. 
“It’s simple fashion,” Alt said. “You can see the clothes perfectly.”
The success of Alt’s first issue will say a lot about the future of the most provocative Vogue and will foreshadow Alt’s new style and direction.
“I want to show in French Vogue more and more a lot of clothes” Alt told WWD Media. However, she conceded, “One boob—otherwise you don’t recognize it’s French Vogue.”
Another thing Alt wants to incorporate are more in-depth stories to accompany the fashion spreads. Alt’s team thinks it is vital that readers have something substantial to read and is looking for new faces to contribute to the magazine.
“I will try to surprise the reader month after month,” Alt said.
While some think this makes the magazine more tangible, accessible and relatable, others think French Vogue may lose its dominance and edge.
Is this first issue a promising step for the new direction? Will the public agree with Alt’s new style and ride the wave?
From here, it looks like the Patricia Goldman agency will have to keep an eye on consumer behavior and their reactions to this trend. It is crucial for the “most influential fashion magazine” to have their main demographic, women ages 18 to 35, to accept these changes. 
Her preference in using models on her covers as compared to celebrities separates her magazine from the American version and also speaks volumes about the French, showing Alt has done her research. 
As the minimalist movement creeps into spring runway shows, I can see Alt’s vision will prove to be a sure-fire hit. 

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