Harpers & Queen is hoping to boost sales and capture a wider audience by dropping its old-fashioned image in a major relaunch from the March issue.
The glossy has abandoned its outdated and stuffy social coverage, such as Jennifer’s Diary, and is introducing more fashion, features and serious articles.
The 280-page relaunch issue includes a piece by former Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley about her life after being held prisoner by the Taliban in Afghanistan and her conversion to Islam.
It also features R&B singer BeyoncÃ© Knowles on the cover with an exclusive interview and fashion shoot inside as well as a 60-page supplement for fashionistas entitled Harpers Handbags & Shoes.
The relaunch is being backed by an extensive promotional campaign.
Harpers’ owner, the National Magazine Company, has predicted widespread coverage in the national press.
Publishing director Tess MacleodSmith said she was confident the glossy could expand without going downmarket.
“The total universe for ABC 30-plus women who read monthly magazines is in excess of six million,” she said.
“We need to speak to more of them.
The new Harpers is just right for the intelligent, independent working woman with a significant disposable income.”
By Ruth Addicott