From a million dollar launch party at the WFH: Nicky Briger on Marie Claire’s 25th birthday
When Marie Claire was launched in Australia 25 years ago, her then owner, Murdoch Magazines, threw her a “million dollar” party in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.
These days, the magazine industry, including its parties and budgets, is much smaller, but editor Nicky Briger says the industry still has a lot of life.
This week, the fashion magazine, now owned by Are Media, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a 252-page collector’s edition featuring Nicole Kidman on the cover.
During her two and a half decades in Australia, Briger says Marie Claire has focused more on advocating for social causes, such as the #metoo and #letherspeak movement, and on issues such as racism and coercive control. . As an example of readers’ appetites, Marie Claire’s recent Instagram posts on ‘how to help’ Afghanistan have been her most shared posts of the year so far.
“Thanks to the explosion of social media, the world has changed – everyone now has a voice and they are not afraid to speak out against inequalities and ‘woke up’ from the injustices of the world,” Briger said. AdNews.
“Campaigning for social issues and giving women a voice has always been at the heart of Marie Claire’s DNA, and luckily we have a legion of like-minded readers who are equally eager to take action to change.
“These days, brands want to stand up for something and make a difference, not just push a product. Because marie claire has been doing this for 25 years, we approach it with authenticity; we’re not just jumping on a trend. I honestly believe this is the cornerstone of our success and why we’re still on the shelves (and in social feeds) to this day.
Marie Claire grew her multiplatform readership 55% year-over-year to 833,000, according to figures from Roy Morgan. Its print product has 265,000 readers, up 6% period over time, and digital has 435,000 readers. A majority, 60%, of its reach is digital with 5% of readers consuming both online and print.
“There will certainly be a continued shift to digital in print, but print will always have a place,” says Briger. “The magazine is our showcase or ‘haute couture’, in a way, while digital will above all be more snackable and based on current events.
Briger has supervised Marie Claire as editor for the past six years and worked on the launch issue in the 90s, attending her launch party in Sydney.
“Marie Claire was launched in Australia with an excessively glamorous million dollar party, unlike any seen in the local industry since,” said Briger.
“To this day it is still the most extravagant party I have ever attended and continues to make a mention in stories about Australia’s most fabulous events. Then-owner Matt Handbury staged the blast at his Point Piper mansion with a giant dance floor built over the harbor and more than 500 guests rushing to bands and DJs.
“There were fireworks and the backdrop was a 20-meter-long Marie Claire neon sign in the middle of the harbor. It really set the tone at the time. , high-priced paper executions.
Since then, Briger has seen the magazine industry transform from new properties, headline closings, digital switchover and now pandemic.
“I currently work from home locked out in trackie-daks and Ugg boots but before COVID there were still a lot of glamorous moments, like trips to Milan and Paris, but mostly it’s hard work, late nights and real courage, ”she says. “But I feel like it always has been in a way.
“We are a brand, not just a mag, and that’s why this industry is not just stabilizing, but showing real growth in terms of audience acquisition and increased revenue.
“There is print, digital, affiliation and events. And while we always look to the future and explore new opportunities and technologies, we will never lose sight of our goal-driven core values - without it you have nothing.
“To stay relevant, luxury magazine brands need to be creative, push boundaries and constantly surprise, delight and inspire their audiences. This need for creativity never ceases, and that is why this industry will thrive, excite and engage for decades to come.
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