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Elle, Neiman Marcus partner for multichannel brand extension

September 19, 2012


Hearst’s Elle magazine and department store chain Neiman Marcus are pairing up for a multichannel brand launch of Elle Accessories that includes a biannually published magazine and ecommerce site.

Elle Accessories’ print publication boasts print ads from Giorgio Armani, Harry Winston, Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, Tod’s, Gucci and Neiman Marcus. Meanwhile, Elle Accessories is allowing consumers to buy the products found in its publication on its Web site with launch partner and ecommerce provider Neiman Marcus.

“We are simply a brand that believes that the way to grow our consumer franchise is to be everywhere the consumer is,” said Kevin O’Malley, publisher of Elle Accessories, New York. “We do not just operate as a magazine brand, but as an omnichannel brand.

“This is a project that targets discerning accessories consumers - someone who we feel is a sophisticated shopper,” he said. “We curate a mix of high- and low-end products, but also have a love of best-of-class brands.”

Elle belle
The strategy behind the relaunch is three-fold, according to Mr. O’Malley.

The first is that it is market-driven. Accessories are a huge part from a retail perspective and, for many luxury brands, their accessories are that much more vital to their overall entry-points for the consumer.

Secondly, Elle Accessories is specific for the United States market. For retailers, it is important to drive consumers in-store and online for these goods, per Mr. O’Malley.

Finally, consumers are looking to Elle to be an authority in accessories. It is important for the brand to reinforce this for consumers in both a print and digital environment, per Mr. O’Malley.

Neiman Marcus ad in Elle Accessories print

Elle Accessories will focus on shoes, bags and jewelry across categories, price points and trends.

The print version will retail twice per year for $4.95 per copy. It will remain on the stands for three months.

The publication will also be packaged with the October 2012 issue of Elle in markets nationwide. The ratebase is 300,000.

Elle Accessories will also be available on iPad, Nook and Kindle for the same price.

Meanwhile, consumers can actually buy the products they found online on

Consumers will be directed to the Neiman Marcus site for purchase. There are also Neiman Marcus ads in the print publication and online site.

“ is a huge investment concurrent in the accessories channel to building our first fully-shoppable database,” Mr. O’Malley said.

“If you see something in the magazine, you could actually go to Armani and buy it, or you could get to it on the site as another touchpoint for purchasing both for the advertisers and for magazine," he said.

Comeback story
Since the economy is bouncing back, magazines are relaunching and launching worldwide.

For example, high-end beauty brands such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Chanel, L’Oreal Paris and Clarins are accompanied by fashion labels Cartier and Diane von Furstenberg in the inaugural issue of Condé Nast’s Allure Russia (see story).

Also, in time for arguably the most-influential issue of the year, Vogue Paris flaunted a redesign for its September edition to offer a new look-and-feel that the brand hopes will confirm its position as the leading women’s fashion magazine.

This new redesign is part of Vogue Paris’ multiple renovations and facelifts over the past few months. Marketers including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Bottega Veneta continue to advertise in the magazine (see story).

“This is definitely the right environment for luxury brands to be marketing themselves,” Mr. O’Malley said. “You have to be in the right environment, especially for luxury brands, and there are publications that are few and far between.

“Advertising in Elle Accessories includes increasing brand awareness and wantedness for brands,” he said. “There is also the element of the relaunch which is important for the omnichannel effort by Elle and the brands that are marketing inside.”

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York