The Sad Girl Who Counts Ads

The Sad Girl Who Counts Ads

DSC_0552 You'd think at this point what with i-D going down to six issues a year, Mixte folding and plenty of rumours adrift, THAT dream that I mused about over a year ago would well and truly be dead.  Yup, it's the 'I-Want-To-Start-A-Teen-Zine-Without-Any-Funds' dream.  The one that ain't gonna happen for the time being because any discerning bank manager would laugh at me and throw their branded cheap biros at me as I leave dejected and sorry.  Still, I continue to gather research materials and imagine parallel universes where such dream magazine would exist.  Vogue Girl Korea has always intrigued me despite the fact I've never actually seen it in person and only really existed for me in the form of scans of delightful editorials from TFS.  Turns out, that it's bloody impossible to import Korean mags and not even mag wonder gods RD Franks could do it.  Still, I managed to get one copy via a colleague and proceeded to peruse it with gusto. 


Given that it's supposed to be the Korean version of US Teen Vogue, I decided to do a quick geeky page/ad count.  It's visibly thicker for a start.  I discounted inserts and gatefolds and counted up 318 pages in Vogue Girl Korea and 132 pages in Teen Vogue.  Ads wise, including advertorials Vogue Girl Korea stacks up at 85 pages of ads and Teen Vogue at 41 pages of ads.  The percentages are as expected fairly even with Vogue Girl Korea weighing in at 26% of ads and Teen Vogue inching ahead with 31%.  I can only judge by pictures as I can't read Korean text but a scan over the content and there were striking differences.  Firstly, there's a pretty hefty chunk of editorial in Vogue Girl Korea dedicated to skincare which is in line with Asian mags in general and their appetite for trying any new wonder products.  I long for the day when I go into Sasa in Hong Kong and get bombarded with SAs trying to sell me some product or another and come out HKD500 lighter.  Mugged?  Much?

Then there's just the wider breadth of content that with more page space allows Vogue Girl Korea to muse over a broader range of topics… giving much food for the brain to think about whilst gathering up information for my parallel universe self. 

Was pleased to see that Ari of Advanced Style got profiled and the piece also gave props to older peeps like Irene Williams, Iris Barrel Apfel, Lynn Yaeger and Anna Piaggi….


Life beyond fashion doesn't necessarily mean flimsy investigative pieces into girl gang bullying and bulemia.  It's also positively reflected with restaurant reviews and a feature that profiles different places to take a pleasant walk along with music suggestions.  A touch on the trite side of things but if I could read the text and lived in Korea, I might take suggested walk and feel a whole lot better for it…

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Amateur photographer profiles that asks ppl about their equipment and their favourite shots.  Flickr potential aplenty…


A peek inside noted people's drawers?  Not sure if they're actual people or imagined but the contents are lovely all the same…


There's much to be said about the tendancy for youth-focused magazines in Asia to be demonstrative, instructional and at times very literal.  If it's actually useful information, I quite like presented to me DUMMY-like… in this issue, they survey studying abroad at various universities with I guess what are profiles of the various facilities at each uni.  The really useful bit comes where they pick out the best bits from a ton of Korean e-fashion shops.  Call me cheesy but I love these kind of lists that clog up page space with oodles and oodles of product…. Japanese mags do this especially well… 

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Then of course there's the fashion that has taken that particular Teen Vogue aeshetic and added their own flair…



Like I said before, it's not a perfect specimen just like Nylon/Teen Vogue aren't for this particular mag genre but I really wish someone would find a way of getting it stocked somewhere here… if not for the occasional browsing that keeps feeding that far and distant dream..


Leave a comment
  1. Jessica

    2009-05-27 at 9:20 PM

    I want to subscribe to your blog but it wont let me and i don’t know where to go

  2. susie_bubble

    2009-05-27 at 9:28 PM

    Jessica: How are you trying to subscribe? Via the email box in the right hand column? Via RSS – what reader do you use? It should work… if you type in as the address into the RSS feed…

  3. Emma Jayne

    2009-05-27 at 9:32 PM

    Ooh I’d love to get my hands on a ‘Vogue Girl’….it would take me back to the days when I used to savour every page of Elle Girl. Oh Elle girl, how I loved thee. Even at 21 years of age I’d still buy it now. Where did it go?! Now, a new Elle Girl is something I’d like to start…or Vogue Girl UK. Imagine.

  4. SwanDiamondRose

    2009-05-27 at 10:07 PM

    that looks cool, i nice addition to my teen vogue addiction too.

  5. geisharock

    2009-05-27 at 10:15 PM

    we’ll all help out with your teen zine susie 🙂 use contacts and free volunteers! we can all dream eh xxx

  6. Pierre

    2009-05-27 at 10:21 PM

    Hey, what’s your favourite HK magazine ? Jessica Code ? :p :p

  7. frances

    2009-05-27 at 10:29 PM

    I think there actually is, shock horror, a gap in the market for a teenage magazine with a mature voice. I am a teenager. But to be fair I don’t know if I would read a magazine marketed at teens, although plenty of people I know read Teen Vogue and Cosmo Girl and stuff.
    I would read it if it was anything like Style Bubble in paper form though.
    P.S. Will your parallel universe self give me a job working on the teen zine with no funds? You wouldn’t need to, you know, pay me or anything.

  8. The F-Word

    2009-05-27 at 10:35 PM

    i really enjoyed the perpective on youth-focused magazines in asia.
    brill job susie- always fresh! keep it coming!

  9. KB

    2009-05-27 at 11:12 PM

    This looks great, makes US Teen Vogue look paltry in comparison. We need this kind of magazine in this country, accessible and mature, without preaching about the same old things. Wish I could speak Korean….

  10. susie_bubble

    2009-05-27 at 11:14 PM

    Pierre: Actually I like the weeklies like Milk… it’s more interesting for me…East Touch too… guess in the case of HK mags, I go for lifestyle as opposed to fashion…I buy Fashion & Beauty if I’m really bored… Jessica Code… have actually never picked it up…. sadly HK mags are availabe here but are extortionately priced….

  11. chi un kim

    2009-05-27 at 11:25 PM

    oh yeah, its not soo completely perfect,
    but quite desirable…..
    just enough to korea.
    대한민국 만세!! 하하
    화이팅 and my sincere condolence.

  12. Chloe

    2009-05-27 at 11:42 PM

    vogue, j’adore le vogue! vogue is like a bible, doll!

  13. becca // fashion-train

    2009-05-27 at 11:55 PM

    you’ve made me think twice about the nagazines i buy and i really wanna a copy of vogue girl korea now!
    (even though i won’t be able to read it) xx

  14. Winnie

    2009-05-28 at 12:08 AM

    Oh wow you managed to get hold of one! I love how Japanese magazines cramp everything together, value for money I say! So definitely awesome that Vogue girl korea do the same!

  15. KD

    2009-05-28 at 12:20 AM

    I have not bought a fashion magazine for . . . 8 months. If only I could buy Vogue Girl Korea!

  16. SK

    2009-05-28 at 12:20 AM

    i think one of the things i really loved while i was in korea for the past 5 months was the availability of magazines. big magazines that you can read for an entire month until the new one comes out. i actually had the vogue you just featured in my hands the entire flight back to the states.
    i know that some korean book stores carry korean magazines. i used to buy ceci since i was in middle school. they tend to be pretty expensive (about $20) probably due to shipping costs – korean mags are pretty heavy!
    p.s. those are real peoples’ drawers! hehe

  17. jen

    2009-05-28 at 1:15 AM

    have you thought about starting out online? it would keep cost down. e.g like
    i know its still not cheap but cheaper….

  18. tanya

    2009-05-28 at 1:16 AM

    hey susie i dont know if this question has been asked before on your site (or maybe i should just ask it in the FAQ section…) but what are some of your favourite magazines? maybe like a top 5 of your favourites?

  19. Brigadeiro

    2009-05-28 at 1:52 AM

    I have yet to buy this mag, but it looks great! Must check it out when I’m next at the newsagents….

  20. miss sophie

    2009-05-28 at 2:21 AM

    it never ceases to amaze me how many brilliant and amazing creative people are out there working their magic every day. that “what’s in your drawer” piece is such a clever idea!

  21. heath

    2009-05-28 at 2:45 AM

    that is honestly just a glorious sight. i wish we had something so fresh and interesting (and FULL OF PAGES) here in the US. i am envious of koreans and their publications.

  22. diane

    2009-05-28 at 4:14 AM

    I’m right there with you. I’ve been feeding my love of Korean fashion on e-bay, and when that’s not enough, I search Korean street fashion shots.

  23. Adriana

    2009-05-28 at 5:05 AM

    It definitely looks great, it’s fresh bright and one of those thing you can’t stop looking at, I love it, I would love to get my hands in one of those

  24. fashion tidbits

    2009-05-28 at 5:34 AM

    yes!!!!!!!! isn’t it fantastic?!! i love vogue girl, it’s my fave mag in korea apart from W magazine. glad you got your hands on a copy

  25. Sister Wolf

    2009-05-28 at 10:26 AM

    Stay focused on your dream. There’s no zine like the one You’d do, and look how big the audience is already.

  26. Miss at la Playa

    2009-05-28 at 10:47 AM

    why don’t you suscribe?
    PS: The magazine looks great

  27. Gemma Young

    2009-05-28 at 10:48 AM

    I live in Seoul, SK. I also work about 5 mins from one of the biggest book stores here. You may be envious of the ability to ‘get your hands on Korean wonders’ but I on the other hand pine for all of the home comforts! They are available but I pay around 15 quid for British Vogue… sob!
    Let me know if you want anything sent over. I would say though, Korean mags often leave a lot to be desired.

  28. susie_bubble

    2009-05-28 at 10:55 AM

    Miss Et La Playa: They apparently don’t ship overseas….

  29. lxlloyd (exAONY)

    2009-05-28 at 11:10 AM

    There is a definite market gap. The editorials at teen vogue leave me feeling patronised; I’m sorry, but by their late teens girls are at one of their most efficient times for absorbing information, and talking to them like they’re 10, or oblivious (even if they at least ARE looking at serious issues)is just frustrating. So much of it is filled with not-quite ads (poorly disguised Sponsored editorials), and is prom focused, and not enough is made of the arts/culture/life section, and there is zilch on travel; which I think is, well, awful, given that many teens will be planning their first independant holidays, and there is nothing harder than planning those on a budget. They also consistently interview people like disney pop stars, rather than giving any air time to those who could really inspire us like Anna Piaggi, Lynn Yaeger, loulou de la falaise etc.

  30. pearl

    2009-05-28 at 3:37 PM

    Sasa’s staff is a bit too eager sometimes.
    I used to read Milk when I was 15, but I found the items a bit too pricey (for my age) anyway, even though the mag is cheap. Then I developed an obsession with the Japanese magazine called Zipper…the clothes are awesome, but the models’ facial expressions can be quite annoying. My graphic designer BF would then complain about the poor grid layout on the spreads…
    I don’t know what sort of point I want to make here..

  31. Meream

    2009-05-28 at 4:04 PM

    Oh, I’d love to see you realize that dream, susie.

  32. Ari Cohen

    2009-05-28 at 6:33 PM

    My copy is waiting at the post office!
    Thanks for mentioning me!
    Site looks great as always.

  33. Victoire

    2009-05-29 at 3:37 AM

    You and Tavi should join forces! Together, you guys would make a teen-mag that would be truly unstoppable! And if bank managers don’t give you the time of day, maybe you could concoct some sort of micro-financing arrangement, similar to Kiva. I’m sure the blogging community would come out and invest in you guys! I surely would!

  34. Caroline

    2009-05-29 at 4:29 AM

    It´s strange that Border´s doesn´t do that kind of mag, I use to find a lot of treasures in there.
    But I gt a thing for this Korean mag, like the sneek peek into peoples drawers.

  35. Stephie

    2009-05-29 at 5:06 AM

    Hey Susie – saw your reply on Twitter. Here’s the link to the launch of the magazine; how apt to see a post about magazines!
    Dottie and I also have a dream to have our own zine published someday. We’re starting on the ‘Net first, will be really glad to receive your comments on this. I’ll drop you an email too (:

  36. Manka

    2009-05-29 at 6:07 PM

    I used to love reading ELLE Girl when I was younger… I wish they didn’t stop producing it. 🙁
    Have you checked the Korean stores in central for the magazine? I would have thought maybe they’d have it there hehe.

  37. Catalina

    2009-05-29 at 8:43 PM

    I am far, far from my teens, but I know I would be an avid reader, Susie. So keep scheming.

  38. selina

    2009-06-01 at 10:28 PM

    haha i love the obligatory couples shoot, maybe there should be more in ‘adult’ magazine

  39. SarahSKim

    2009-06-02 at 4:03 AM

    Hey I’m living out in Korea for a few more months. If you’d like, we can set up something so you can get your fix of vogue girl korea. =]

  40. wooju

    2009-06-02 at 4:52 PM

    just enough to korea
    i’m live in korea
    susie ‘ -‘

  41. Ivy

    2009-06-05 at 4:02 AM

    I am also very much in love with print magazines than e-magazines (just like I prefer CDs than mp3 files). I used to work in a publication in Hong Kong, but eventually discovered Hong Kong publications only focus on making profit rather than producing inspiring/interesting/worth-reading articles, so I eventually quitted my job and now I work in sales promotions for a fashion retailer.
    Anyway, if you need any help in making your dream comes true, just send me an email and let me know if there is anything I can help! (Dun worry, no cost involved.)

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