Sunday, December 5, 2010

Could the Middle East have its own Vogue? Part III

Capturing the Diversity of a Region

One question that seems to linger within the industry is the form that Vogue would take should it choose to publish in the region, and whether editors would be allowed the same kind of freedom afforded to their counterparts in other countries. Mr. Newhouse has addressed the concern by pointing out that the publication has had “very few instances around the world of censorship issues with editorial content."

He also noted that a presence in the UAE would not necessarily act as a centre for the entire Middle East. "I suspect that the Middle East is quite a variegated market. The UAE is quite different from Iraq. And Beirut in Lebanon is quite another market."

Newhouse brings up an important point when planning for any publication in the region. Unlike other international issues of Vogue that are tailored towards a specific nation or culture, the Orient edition would have to address an entire region that stretches from North Africa, through the Levant and into the Arabian Gulf.

In the West there is a tendency to view the Middle East and North Africa as one monolithic entity. When in reality it is a historically rich region with diverse typographies, religions, cultures, races and traditions. Yet far from being an obstacle, it is an opportunity for editors to create a dynamic publication that is very different from other editions of Vogue. There is also a large Middle Eastern Diaspora scattered throughout the world, which would not only inform the magazines’ editorial content but also form a sizable block of its readership.

When done right, such publications become ambassadors for regions all over the world, and can serve as powerful tools to change perceptions and broaden our understanding of different cultures. For that reason an issue of Vogue Orient is just as likely to be picked up by a woman in London or in Riyadh.

© THE POLYGLOT (all rights reserved) CHICAGO-PARIS

1 comment:

ayse veryeri said...

I am a designer ( costume,fashion and stage ) from turkey, and i fully agree on having a vogue middle east, than having a vogue turkey without an " identity" . I will be following you, which i reached while i was trying to learn more about talitha getty.