Commentary

'Vogue' Steps Into Retail With Tokyo Bridal Salon

As if the publishing industry weren’t difficult enough, Vogue is extending its brand into retail with the opening of its first bridal salon. The Vogue Wedding store in the tony Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo aims to give brides-to-be a one-stop shop for gowns from high-end designers.

“At a Vogue wedding salon, in addition to traditional wedding dresses, we have prepared a wide variety of more adventurous styles,” Mayumi Nakamura, creative director of Vogue Wedding, said in a statement.

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Alexander McQueen, Giambattista Valli, Oscar de la Renta, Sergio Rossi are among the designers the salon will showcase. The salon also will help customers plan their entire look for their wedding day, including make-up, hair and accessories. The Vogue Wedding team also can refer customers to stylists, photographers and videographers.

It’s interesting that Vogue is opening its first salon in Japan, considering that the country’s wedding industry has been in steady decline for years. The country’s record-low birth and marriage rates have raised alarms among public officials, who are scrambling to develop policies that will urge people to marry and have kids.


Perhaps Vogue will find success among well-heeled customers who are more immune to the worries of wedding and childcare costs. From there, the magazine brand could expand to more locations in the ritzy shopping districts of major cities worldwide.

Vogue Germany in November opened a pop-up store in Metzingen Outlet City that was scheduled for a five-month run, WWD reported.


“It gives a brand like Vogue an opportunity to make fashion come alive and meet our readers,” Christiane Arp, editor in chief of Vogue Germany, said of the concept store. Its merchandise consisted of collections from young Germany designers whom Arp has championed.

It will be interesting to see how these retailing ventures work out.


The retail industry faces the same kinds of threats from digital competitors that traditional publishers do. Amazon has upended the department-store and big-box retailing industry, and is joining Facebook and Google in boosting digital ad revenue.


Still, many consumers are looking for the expertise and pedigreed tastes that seasoned editors can provide. Advertisers certainly are looking for more value-added marketing solutions from publishers.


Those trends may help magazine brands develop incremental revenue from retail and digital commerce strategies.

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