>> I've always lamented and secretly wished that a British version of Teen Vogue existed. There's no use wrinkling your nose at me. You can say "But we have i-D, Dazed and Lula and any one at any age can pick up Elle or Vogue and still get a decent fashion fix?" Whilst I'm grateful to those first two titles for shaping part of what I love about fashion when I was growing up and yes, Elle/Vogue do a fine job of serving women, there still really isn't that instantly-recognisable paper-based teenage fix that is ultra specific to the fashion climate and environment of the UK (well, London…) as well as to the weird whimsies of a teenager finding/discovering style. Yes, it is a little strange that aged 28, I'm still grasping at this non-existent magazine that isn't even targeted at my age group. Then again, I'm also curiously fascinated by young adult fiction or the reaction to programmes like Skins or Misfits. This confirms my fate as a hoary anthropologist, who can never tear her eyes away from what's going on in teen-dom. I once even begged Teen Voguer Andrew Bevan to get him to fight for the cause. He tells me it's a no go though.
You could also argue that with sites like the excellent Rookie, the increasing numbers of blogs, Tumblrs and the fact that fashion mad teens here probably pick up the American Teen Vogue anyway, teens are actually very well served. Still, Company's recent makeover, which has seen its size reduced to exactly that of Teen Vogue, has reignited my preposterous secret wish that will probably remain unfulfilled, the way print land is going.
Company has done a decent job of sort of plugging that mainstream teen media hole even though they don't specifically focus their stories on teens. Gone are the "My mum's drinking left her hours from death" and "Have sex, look skinny" headlines and instead snazzy fonts, illustrations and a much heavier fashion and beauty focus have been ushered in. The emphasis is also on high street clothing which ups the accessibility factor. The styling is evidently less "Phooooaaar" and more preppy. I'd liken it to ASOS's make-under from As Seen On Screen to its current on-point incarnation. I do find it interesting that those slightly saucy reads that I bought as a curious teen to find out about sex- More, 19, Company – have either floundered or changed tact. I'm reminded once again of Kevin Braddock's analysis of men's magazine culture and the pending death of lad mags and likewise, the language of sex as well as the idea that women are dressing with the sole purpose of "going out on the pull" in women's media, has also become muted.
By all means, it's not the finished product for me and my lofty ideas for a teen mag that would probably sell less than 100 copies. Maybe it'll kick start me into putting some money where my mouth is. Nonetheless I quite like the shift. One less magazine proclaiming "How to make your G-string work for you and your man" is fine by me.