Disposing of the "Queen" in its title and moving the focus from society
to fashion has paid off for Harper's Bazaar, which picked up consumer
magazine of the year at this year's PPA awards.
Harper's & Queen made the switch back to Harper's Bazaar in March last year as part of a drastic relaunch to realign with its famous American sister title.
As well as scooping its first ever PPA award, its publisher Natmags said the title has seen a total revenue increase of 18 per cent year on year. Harper's Bazaar editor, Lucy Yeomans said the relaunch has opened up more opportunities for the magazine.
"I think the change to Harper's Bazaar has been so important to us, because in many ways it's been about perception. As Harper's & Queen, there was such an old society perception about the magazine and as Harper's Bazaar we were able to really inhabit that great, iconic global fashion brand and it's really enabled us to work with great photographers and writers – it's opened so many doors to us. It's reinvigorated my whole team."
Harper's launched as Harper's Bazaar in 1929 for "the well-dressed woman and the well-dressed mind", relaunching as Harper's Queen in 1970). Yeomans said she had taken inspiration from the earlier years that saw contributions from the likes of Virginia Woolf, Somerset Maugham and Picasso.
She said: "I love that combination of iconic fashion coverage mixed with fantastic writing. We've had Marc Quinn doing illustrations and Will Self writing short stories. Harper's Bazaar is such a fantastic brand – it's got that mixture of fashion coverage as well as intelligence. I think it gives us the freedom to go back to our heritage."
Harper's next step is a website, to be launched later this year, which will give its readers a chance to understand the industry.
"If you think of the success of The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty, people really are interested in our industry. I'm excited about the idea of blogging and doing video diaries. There's so much that happens in the process of putting together a magazine that we can bring to our readers."