Beautiful magazine is thinking big
Canadian mag for the 14-plus set aims to be widely read in the U.S.
When Mode magazine folded in 2001, more than 600,000 full-figured female subscribers were left stranded in a market saturated with stick-thin celebrities, dieting articles and size-0 fashion spreads.
Now, a Canadian publisher is picking up where Mode left off, releasing a bi-monthly magazine being touted as the Vogue for the 14-plus set. Beautiful hits newsstands this summer and, with a planned circulation of 50,000, as well as 200,000 south of the border, it aims to become the biggest Canadian-based magazine in the United States.
"The potential of this magazine is huge," says Jack Krosinski, vice-president of Beautiful publisher Cortex. "It's inevitable -- if you're going to ignore half your country's population, it'll come back and bite you in the butt. If you embrace them, there's nothing to lose. We need to break the mould and say it's OK to be these sizes, it's even sexy to be these sizes."
Krosinski is certainly breaking the mould with his marketing strategy. Instead of the usual route of initially targeting advertisers, he went directly to full-size organizations that represent Beautiful's potential audience, and by doing that he says he has now secured about 100,000 readers.
"It's a different marketing strategy," admits Krosinski. "We sent our first press releases to these organizations, and all we did was ask them to pass them along to women who would be interested in supporting this initiative, and the movement grew from there. All of a sudden we received hundreds of e-mails requesting subscriptions or wanting to promote or be involved with the project."
Beautiful will be equal parts fashion, beauty, health, sex and relationships, lifestyle, travel and decor. Priced at $5.95, or $29.96 for a six-issue subscription, the magazine will focus on standard style topics while taking into account its readership.
"We'll obviously be sensitive to the needs of larger women," says Krosinski. "And yet, at the same time, we want it to be accessible and appealing to all women."
The idea is that Beautiful will have a more realistic, healthy approach to fashion and style, while encouraging confidence among readers. Most importantly, there won't be any ads or articles about dieting.
"We want to give the editorial more credibility," says Krosinski, "which means presenting material that our readers want, not necessarily material that advertisers want to read."[. . .]
Beautiful will only run ads from companies who are committed to supporting a positive plus-sized philosophy. If they don't, Beautiful doesn't want them.
"Our business model is one that can do without advertisers," explains Krosinski. "If they don't want to take the opportunity, we will make it clear to our readers these companies don't really care about them. We run a very tight ship, and the way we work our company is that subscribers can pay for the whole operation."
He also adds the magazine has healthy investor support and that it plans to place copies in several full-size U.S. clothing chains -- though it's not decided whether they will be sold or given away. Beautiful will also be sold on the newsstand.[. . .]
Kelsey O. (Wilhelmina L.A.)--a sexy size 14: