What does the appointment of Megha Kapoor on the helm of Vogue India imply for the journal and this trade?
“The January 2022 problem of Vogue India ushers in a brand new period, a brand new chapter,” begins Megha Kapoor in her first editor’s letter, as she proclaims a “Vogue Reset’ and plans to guide the journal in a brand new route. Kapoor is the brand new Head of Editorial Content material on the journal and her appointment to this function has sparked many conversations on the evolution of vogue journalism within the nation.
Already on shaky floor after a long time of being relegated to the leisure and get together pages, Indian vogue writing, protection, and reporting didn’t actually have a lot time to develop to its fullest even with the approaching of overseas legacy titles within the first decade of the 2000s. Advertisers rapidly owned the pages, and month-to-month magazines hardly ever, if ever, critiqued collections of merchandise. Then got here the droop of the mid-2010s, adopted carefully by the social media onslaught, after which the Covid pandemic. Not good.
It’s into this sorry state for print media that Kapoor, 35, steps as much as the highest job at Vogue India, designations however. One in all Sydney-based Kapoor’s connections to India is an internship at Vogue India over a decade in the past, and that she is of Indian descent. A graduate of the College of Melbourne, it was her time at Vogue India that landed her a stint at Vogue Australia’s vogue division. Since then, she has labored as vogue director on the indie Australian publication Oyster Journal, and based Inprint, her personal luxurious vogue shiny, in 2015.
Six years later, Kapoor is able to take cost of one of many youngest Vogues on this planet — launched in October 2007, Vogue India is nearly a 12 months shy of its 15th anniversary. “It’s type of magical for me to have the ability to interact with India by this chance,” she says. “I believe one must be humble sufficient to [know] what one does and doesn’t perceive, and I’m not going to faux that I get each nuance. That stated, there are over 36 million of us who’ve had the immigrant expertise, and that doesn’t make us any much less Indian. I’ve rather a lot to be taught, and I’m excited.”
Assembly newer calls for
Her appointment follows Vogue’s father or mother organisation’s world shakeup—Conde Nast’s reorganisation of the corporate’s content material technique, management groups, and construction. An identical train had taken place at The New York Instances and Wall Avenue Journal just some years in the past. Gone are the highly effective Editors-in-Chief of outdated; enter the Content material Head, a hybrid entity who’s higher positioned to reply to newer calls for from shoppers in addition to advertisers.
Spreads from the January 2022 version
The long run, says Kapoor, lies in placing a steadiness between native and world content material. “To me, it’s not a dichotomy. With each venture I do, I wish to ask myself who the viewers is, and if we’re reflecting India’s fashionable and numerous voices.” She mentions the works of contemporary Indians like photographers Ashish Shah and Bharat Sikka, and provides that whereas she is loath to criticise what got here earlier than, she appears ahead to evolving native content material, expertise, and picture making for a platform that’s extra 360-degrees in its outlook, and places India on the world map. “I’m already working to get Indian designers on Vogue Runway [the title’s free app that covers global fashion] to make sure worldwide recognition.”
No city bias?
After I ask what she thinks of exploring regional Indian languages, she says she is able to tackle each alternative to attach with a various viewers. And whereas it could take a while earlier than we see vogue magazines supplied in Punjabi, Bengali, or Tamil, it’s not as far-fetched a notion as it will have been even a number of years in the past. She desires to symbolize all of India, not simply Delhi and Mumbai, which is encouraging in its intent.
What will probably be really fascinating to see, although, is how nicely such growing editorial insurance policies will work in the case of advertisers, particularly luxurious manufacturers, who’ve come to all however personal the pages of Indian vogue magazines over the previous decade. “There’s undoubtedly going to be a shift,” says Kapoor. “There will probably be extra editorial options, and we’re maybe not going to be as dictated by manufacturers.” Given Conde Nast’s affect over the journal market, it’s fully attainable that her outlook is rapidly adopted throughout titles—those who nonetheless exist, after all.
The creator is a vogue commentator and artistic director primarily based in New Delhi.