When you think of fashion, you think of Vogue.
It was the millennial’s generation that coined the saying, “Sometimes I bought Vogue instead of dinner. I found it fed me more” thanks to Carrie Bradshaw. It was common knowledge that when you looked at your closet and thought to yourself, I have nothing to wear, you would open Vogue.
There’s no question that Vogue is still thriving in 2022. The Met Gala is talked about weeks after the event, we idolize those who work in fashion, even Drake used a fake Vogue cover to advertise his new album. However, other than having Harry Styles on the cover and Emma Chamberlain interviewing guests at the Met Gala, they haven’t tried to advertise to Gen Z, the current most influential generation. Beyond those two points, there lies a notable disconnect between the core values of Vogue and Gen Z – it goes further than just the slow deterioration of print and online magazines.
Vogue has always spoken to a certain tax bracket. It’s hard to find something inside of the magazine for less than $100, and generally – that’s a headband. Vogue is synonymous with luxury, elitism, and everything one might dream of having. While it’s nice to sometimes dream about having that kind of money, it’s not realistic for people in their early 20s. Gen Z would rather shop at thrift stores, and obtain more unique pieces than the old-money style still deeply integrated into Vogue.
Shopping at thrift stores is always entirely more sustainable than buying clothes new, even if they’re not from fast-fashion websites. The clothes advertised in Vogue are generally made-to-wear, which takes even more resources than a normal dress or pair of pants. I’ve grown up with people around me saying, “I couldn’t have kids, I couldn’t put them through the environmental disasters that will happen in this lifetime.” When you’ve been threatened your whole life by the deteriorating environment, using more of those precious resources just for an article of clothing doesn’t seem worth it.
Other than buying clothes from its pages, Vogue has always been known for setting the trends and giving fashion advice. However, it’s become increasingly apparent in the last decade that Vogue was only known for setting trends because it was the one in power with lots of people watching, not because they are enormously better at fashion than anyone else. Now, an influencer with 16k followers could start a trend just as well, or better, than the likes of Marc Jacobs.
Despite all of this, we still directly correlate fashion with Vogue. Parts of those elitist ways are still idolized by those who know they will never be part of the world, or those who one day hope to be. Seeing glimpses into backstage at fashion week, documentaries about completing photoshoots, the short YouTube content we see of models in more humanistic states – it’s obvious the people at Vogue are doing big, important and unique things. In order to capture Gen Z’s attention, though, those big and important things need to be documented in the correct capacity.
Enter Anna Wintour on BeReal.
BeReal is a new social media app that emphasizes authenticity. Users are notified during random periods in the day and told they only have two minutes BeReal. They take a picture using the front camera and five seconds later, the app automatically takes a back camera picture to capture a selfie. That way, friends can see exactly what you look like, and exactly what you’re seeing at that exact moment. BeReal is rapidly taking over social media, as screenshots from the app now qualify as Instagram posts, and people are competing on Tik Tok for the most epic BeReal.
Everyone remotely interested in the fashion world knows the signature bob and sunglasses. They also know that Anna Wintour lives a life that few can even imagine. Personally, I would be absolutely hooked to BeReal if I knew Anna Wintour was giving me little glimpses into that glimmering life. I want to see her view from the front row at fashion shows, I want to see meetings with designers, I want to see model fittings, I want to see the inside of the Vogue office, I want to see a spread of the newest issue pinned to the wall in the conference room. But most importantly, I want to see Anna Wintour selfies. Could you imagine who we might catch glimpses of as she stands there with an inconspicuous smirk?
There’s the obvious question of, “What happens if BeReal goes off when Anna is working?” to which I counter, “When is Anna Wintour not working?”
As someone who notoriously works her ass off from 5am tennis lessons until every edition of Vogue is absolutely perfect, nobody would need to worry about Anna posting something too personal. As much as I would love a BeReal of Anna Wintour laying in bed with popcorn binging Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I fear that it is not an attainable goal.
Admittedly, we do run into a few different problems with this strategy. Big companies are constantly criticized on Tik Tok for posting trends months too late, as they had to get two higher-ups and the legal team to approve the video before it’s posted. BeReal doesn’t have that kind of luxury. Users are only given a two-minute time frame before it announces to all friends that they posted late, a criminal act. As a leader at both Vogue and Conde Nast, Anna ultimately has the final say on everything published. I believe we can trust her business mind to know what is acceptable and what is not.
In reality, companies are constantly vying for a leg up when it comes to advertising to the young generations. They’ve become efficient at using ratchet Tik Tok sounds to get their advertising across, but BeReal is a new beast. It’s still unclear as to how companies will be able to market on the platform, or if it’s even possible. However there is no question that BeReal is slowly taking over social media, and companies must sprint to figure out how to utilize it.
If Vogue wants to continue its legacy in the up and coming generations, there is only one solution.
Open a Vogue BeReal account, give Anna Wintour the phone, and let her extravagant fashion life do the rest.
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