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Until just a few short years ago, there were very few fashion magazines in India for women, the most notable being Femina. But as global brands recognized the potential of the Indian market, almost every international title from Cosmopolitan to Vogue launched an Indian edition, serving up a mix of local and international content. But the launch of Harper’s Bazaar Bride earlier this year has shifted the focus in a different way. While, Harper’s Bazaar India, which launched in 2009, serves as the flagship title covering fashion, beauty and style, Harper’s Bazaar Bride (HBB) will focus exclusively on all things bridal to address India’s massive wedding market which is expected to become the biggest in the world. The launch thus far has been impressive, setting the publication apart with its lavish editorials and stunning photography. We reached out to the magazine’s Editor, Nupur Mehta Puri, to learn why it was important to launch a bridal edition and how it plans to capitalize on the industry’s massive growth.
Why was it important to launch Harper’s Bazaar Bride as a separate magazine from the flagship publication, Harper’s Bazaar?
The Indian wedding industry as a whole is a billion-dollar market, and its potential continues to grow constantly. The need for a niche product catering to the super high-end segment of this industry was required and that is when Harper’s Bazaar Bride was delivered. The Harper’s name adds brand value, and the magazine taps the global-Indian fashion and wedding trends on a whole new level. It is the first MOVER of its kind in the market.
Since much of Indian fashion is defined by traditional apparel, specifically bridal wear, how will you differentiate the content in Harper’s Bazaar Bride from what already exists in other Indian fashion magazines?
Never before has Indian couture been presented in a such a stunning visual context – we have completely given a new contemporary interpretation to it. A styled-ensemble or a pairing from one of our magazine pages can be donned by either a bride or a fashionista with immense flair. It makes fantasy ethnic couture more real for the reader.
What are some of the unique features that are a part of the magazine?
HBB has aimed to be the ultimate go-to book for brides-to-be. Within the pages are A to Z details of weddings – from every little detail of the bride’s trousseau to uber luxurious romantic travel to theme-based mood boards for wedding planning inspiration. We have also made international luxury fashion relevant in an Indian context – since most people splurge liberally around the wedding time.
The photography in HBB is absolutely STUNNING – much more creative and beautifully styled than anything I’ve seen before. Was that a conscious effort on the magazine’s part?
Of course. As I mentioned previously, the idea is to present ethnic couture in a high-fashion manner – instead of a costume-like context. Our strong team of stylists and the photographers we work with ensure that our looks are fabulous enough to attract the well-read, well-travelled, sophisticated and global individual.
The Indian bridal industry is expected to be the biggest in the next few years. How will HBB capitalize on that growth?
The very aim of launching HBB was to capitalize on that growth – and this is the reason why it was launched as a whole new separate entity. The future holds stronger content editorially, more expositions with jewelry and watch brands, partnerships with fashion weeks and industry experts, and aggressive distribution.
How important is it for you to have a strong online presence – is a website in the works?
A digital presence is a core extension of the main hardcopy. It would be foolish not to reach out through online mediums. We have a lot of digital aspects in the pipeline.
How do you see the magazine evolving over the next five years?
We see it becoming the first point of marketing contact for any kind of wedding related news, product launches, and fashion. We have already been receiving immensely good feedback in the market and it has only been five months since we launched. The idea is to take it to the next level possible.
Check back tomorrow to see cover girl Jacqueline Fernandez’s gorgeous editorial for the July/August issue!