500k cash boost for New Woman's fashion coverage

New Woman magazine has been given a £500,000 cash injection to boost its international fashion coverage and compete head to head with Marie Claire.

Dawn Bebe, managing director of women’s media at Emap Elan and publishing director of New Woman, said the finance followed the success of new editor Sara Cremer’s strategy to make the magazine more glamorous and upmarket by focusing on fashion and beauty. "As a strategy, that has really worked incredibly well so we decided to put more money behind it and invest in fashion editorial and beauty," she said. "New Woman readers love the fashion; there is a definite hunger for more." According to Emap, New Woman readers spent a total of £428m on clothes last year.

The investment will create eight extra editorial pages a month and further jobs for journalists in the fashion department. A new feature dedicated purely to designer wear and a shopping section listing 100 items to buy for less than £100 will also be added.

It is believed to be the first time New Woman has focused on upmarket, international designer brands such as Chloe, Christian Dior, John Rocha and Betty Jackson.

Bebe said the move would also bring in top photographers and models.

New Woman will continue to cover high street fashion and she said the main aim was to compete with Marie Claire, which has always been one step ahead in terms of fashion. Marie Claire reported sales of 382,094 in the latest ABC results, just ahead of New Woman’s 305,088.

"New Woman is one of the fastest-growing glossies, but we feel that we are breathing down Marie Claire’s neck. We have decided to move ahead and compete head to head in terms of fashion," Bebe added.

The changes are expected to lead to the expansion of the fashion desk led by Lizanne Davies and Emap is expected to recruit at least one new stylist.

Cremer was promoted from deputy editor to editor in October 2000 when editor Jo Elvin left to launch Glamour. She was forced to make immediate changes to the beauty team when New Woman’s beauty editor, Becci Field, also quit to join Elvin at Glamour.

by Ruth Addicott

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