>> Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue who proclaims herself "not a great fashion person," isn't too worried about the current economic downturn. In her sixteen-year tenure, she tells The Independent, she's been there before — in the early '90s. "I'm not sure if it was actually classed as a recession, or just a downturn, but I remember all the 'For Sale' signs ranked in rows on terraced houses and everything. Certainly we'd lost a lot of ad pages in the previous year, and business for Vogue was a lot tougher than it had been in the 1980s."
She points out, however, that last time around, a lot of good things came out of all the bad.
"At that time a whole slew of new designers bubbled up – like McQueen, Stella McCartney, Hussein Chayalan, Clements Ribeiro. A new generation came up through that period. I'm not sure whether it encourages creativity, whether it's because people are looking for alternatives to what's fed to them on a mass scale, whether they are more interested in what's happening on the underground, or what it is, but you do get new names, new businesses, during recessions. Things happen. It can be quite an exciting time creatively. And old names often die."
And she thinks Vogue isn't going to be one of those old names to die.
"We had, up until the end of last year, as good a year as the one before, and that was a record year. That's in ads. Circulation, I think we're going to be 1 per cent down on the newsstand, which compares to other people being 20 per cent down. So we've been really lucky. The first issue we've lost some ads is February. And I'm still waiting to hear about March which is a big fashion special. Nobody thinks it's going to be as good next year as last year, but it's a question of: 'How bad?'"