By Allene Abrahamian
When we think Vogue, we think glamour. We think high fashion. We think Madonna and “strike a pose.” We do not necessarily think about community involvement – until now. The magazine has recently taken a plunge into the middle class world, making it more accessible to the public.
Inches of hair and snipping noises could be heard and seen across Madison Square Park this summer when legendary Vogue hairstylist Christiaan Houtenbos gave free haircuts to New Yorkers. His motive, as reported on by Vogue’s Mackenzie Wagoner, was that “people get too attached to a certain look.” Whatever the reason, Houtenbos’ free haircuts to the public show an attempt for high fashion to be more accessible.
New Yorkers even got #haircutsinthepark trending on Twitter and Instagram, bringing in an interesting element of social media into play. Not only was Vogue offering free services, but also spreading the word as well. The magazine’s social media strategist deserves kudos for that one.
“They don’t have to be doing those things because they already have a solid consumer base. I think it’s a nice gesture and from a public relations standpoint, it’s a smart tactic for good publicity,” said Taleen Safarian, a senior communication major.
Even when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became viral, editor in chief and queen of fashion Anna Wintour took the plunge. The challenge is a fundraising method for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis that involves pouring ice-cold water on oneself. It is not normally the type of action you would expect from someone who comes from the same world as The Devil Wears Prada, but nevertheless is heartwarming.
“I think it’s great that Vogue is reaching out to the community by relating to people’s everyday lives such as hair styles and social media trends,” said Nina Pakzad, a biology major. “They are very well respected, but this makes them a more personable brand.”
The magazine also launched a page on their website for live coverage of New York Fashion Week. You could find a live feed of pictures that either or attendees uploaded: all condensed into one space. You no longer need a golden ticket to see what is going on behind closed doors, other than what the regular media is covering.
“I think it’s really cool how they’re trying to connect to those not directly involved with high fashion,” said Aramesh Afshar, a senior communication major. “It gives everyone the chance to experience that other world.
Some were surprised and humbled by their approach. But their mission statement is just that: “The foundation of Vogue’s leadership and authority is the brand’s unique role as a cultural barometer for a global audience,” according to their website.
So whether it is with shears or ice water, university students are giving Vogue their stamp of approval for their community involvement and social media techniques.