British fashion and lifestyle magazine i-D has launched its online presence in New Zealand at i-D.co and it's tapping into a few tricks of its parent company Vice to appeal to the beautiful people—and to get brands involved.
While New Zealand doesn't have its own distinct site and is lumped in with Australia, it will follow in the UK’s tradition of profiling captivating personalities in fashion and culture, examining the intersection of fashion and music, film and design, and exposing up-and-coming talent and emerging trends. The New Zealand launch, which took place a few weeks back, is part of an international push for the brand, which continues to roll out across global territories including Poland, Spain, Mexico and Netherlands.
“New Zealand is brimming with unique talents who we look forward to celebrating on i-D.co. We couldn’t be more excited about being part of the evolution of this amazing magazine,” says Briony Wright, i-D's AU/NZ editor.
“i-D.co marks an exciting new chapter in i-D’s history and we’re so excited to expand our fan base into new terrain like New Zealand. The site is so much more than a magazine bought to life; it’s the go-to destination for a global community of fashion fans who heard it here first,” Holly Shackleton, i-D’s editor-in-chief.
The responsive website, which will allow users to register and construct their own curated site experience, debuted globally in November last year with an exclusive worldwide premiere of M.I.A’s Video for Y.A.L.A in collaboration with KENZO.
And New Zealand’s launch content included a portrait series of i-D’s favourite new Kiwi talents shot by Kiwi photographer and long-time i-D contributor, Derek Henderson, an in-depth introduction to New Zealand fashion, an exclusive gallery of photos from local label World, i-D’s favourite Kiwi models, including a shoot with Holly Rose Emery, and NZFW coverage.
Since launch, there doesn't appear to have been much more New Zealand content and it mostly international or Australian. But Vice's head of comms in Australia and New Zealand Josh Gardiner says there is lots of New Zealand content in the works, including an interview with Karen Walker and Margi Robertson of NOM*d.
As far as advertising options go, there's no low-rent banner advertising and it's all about the native. Gardiner says the ad options are integrated display units (including design and production where needed), advertorial and events.
i-D’s online launch has been executed in collaboration with Vice Media, which acquired the publication in December 2012. Vice is a company renowned for its edginess and its ability to appeal to the younger demographics and, as The New York Times wrote recently, it is increasingly using that approach in its news gathering. Brands are also trying to get some of that secret sauce and it has become a big player in the world of branded content (a tag its founder Shane Smith doesn't really like), doing work for everyone from Budweiser to Intel.
Fashion has long been seen as a good fit for content marketing, partially because, unlike a lot of other media, the ads are often just as appealing as the editorial content. That link has been explored very successfully by the likes of Net a Porter and other online retailers (and, in this part of the world, APN recently launched its ShopViva product) and i-D has also been getting in on the content act, with the clever A to Z of Dance that it created recently in conjunction with Diesel clocking up over two million views.
i-D, which has a focus on making music videos for bands and musicians, also offers branded content opportunities (video and written) in this part of the world and it has just done one for Samsung in Australia featuring designer Kym Ellery (that post is integrated into the stream of content on the site), but Gardiner says it's really done on a case by case basis.
Vice recently sold ten percent of the company to A&E for US$250 million, valuing the company at $2.5 billion, and Smith has some bold goals to spread the counterculture tentacles even further.