The Next Generation Of Chinese Luxury Magazines

As Private Magazine Ownership Continues To Reshape The Chinese Magazine Industry, Readership Of Luxury And Lifestyle Publications Grows Steadily 

China's Vision magazine has been in print for nearly 8 years, and caters to a primarily urban, educated reader base. Photo © Wallpaper*

China's Vision magazine has been in print for nearly 8 years, and caters to a primarily urban, educated reader base. Photo © Wallpaper*

While luxury and lifestyle magazines are far from new to the Chinese market — with domestic versions of foreign magazines like Elle stretching back to the late 1980s — only in recent years have a number of these magazines written, published, and read in the mainland grown in popularity. According to an article in the newest issue of Wallpaper*, which focuses on China, the recent explosion in Chinese luxury magazines reflects not only the country’s growing appetite for luxury products, but also a more sophisticated demographic that is interested in the commodity side, as well as the community side, of luxury, design, culture, and art.

Writing in Wallpaper*, Hugo Macdonald looks at the innovative titles and editors that are reshaping the Chinese luxury publication industry — and who have their eyes set on rivaling publications from luxury hotspots Seoul and Tokyo.

Just as the art, architecture, fashion and design industries, Chinese luxury magazines are in full flow. As you might expect, it’s a market saturated with Chinese editions of popular global titles, but the ones we were more interested in were the very many, very beautiful home grown titles, which is where the market is swelling at the moment.

And, as it grows, so it becomes an important mechanism in defining a new cultural identity that looks forward, not just back or West, particularly for China’s younger generation of creatives. From the fantastic kitsch of Dog Fans to the pared down cool of Outlook all tastes are catered for.

Macdonald goes on to discuss the future of the Chinese Luxury and Lifestyle publication markets with editors from magazines like Hong Kong’s Milk and the Mainland’s Vision and City. Macdonald’s Q&A with Song Xianjun, editor of Vision, gives a good sense of the target audience for these domestic luxury publications:

How long has your magazine been in print?
7 and half years

How often is it published?

What do you cover?
Cool and hip visual works from everywhere in the world.

Who is your ideal reader?
The readers of VISION are the urban elites not only equipped with strong consumptive power, but also with extraordinary taste and the capablity of creativity. Most of them work in creative industries or the senior management of big corporations. 

What is your circulation?

265,000 copies per month (China)

How has the magazine market changed in recent times in China?

 Contents, quality and design make good magazines stand the test of time and win the loyalty of the readers for the long run and I guess Vision is one of them, even after the price increased 30% in 2009…

What’s your favourite magazine and why?

Wallpaper is one of them for sure, and ID is another inspiring magazine for me. Same as Vision magazine, they are both good for your eyes and mind…

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