STYLE & DESIGN no longer fashionable.

It’s been hard times lately for Time Inc., who has been forced to close now two magazines in the past month. In early August, they closed Southern Accents magazine, whose advertising

And here we are, nary a week before New York Fashion Week, and they’ve pulled the plug on Style & Design. And who is to blame for this travesty? The collapse of the luxury market, apparently.

Ironic, since reports have been surfacing that the luxury market isn’t actually tanking as hard as expected. Quality over quantity, people! Forever 21 won’t get you everywhere in life.

But because Style & Design was an international mag, covering fashion in both the US and major European fashion cities (Milan, Paris, London), perhaps this can explain a little further. I’m not sure how the luxury market is faring in Europe, but it must not be doing well.

I do agree that the luxury market has changed: more middle class citizens are buying better quality items, but at the same time we’re not seeing the avant-garde looks out in everyday life anymore. I’m sure some people still wear them, but there’s a higher demand for  quality clothing at more affordable prices that people, usually women, can wear to work or even just while being out. Think about the rise of designer denim.

Why else has online shopping become so popular? Think about it. Anyway, I digress.

A spokesperson for the magazine (no name, apparently), said that “This really is a suspended publication. We’d hope to bring it back when the economy improves.” Well, that’s nice, but it’s too bad they couldn’t just suspend the jobs of the people who put it together.

Four employees were let go, although editor Kate Betts is still going to stick around and cover the fashion shows for Time. Wonder if she’ll get kicked to the curb after that.

The most puzzling part of this whole fiasco is that they shuttered the magazine just days before the biggest fashion event of the year. Was it really worth cutting your losses to miss out on having a magazine with huge coverage of fashion week? Everyone is getting on the fashion week bandwagon these days (I’m looking at you, Project Runway), so it’s surprising to me that Time would consider it too much of a loss to push through at least one last issue.

This last comment sounds ominous, though:

Speculation has been building that further cutbacks will come this quarter, particularly in the News Division, where John Squires was removed as executive vice president and given a corporate job. Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore now oversees the unit.

But such a huge corporation must have some idea of what they’re doing – I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see if Style & Design is fashionably too late.

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