Lagardere SCA's Hachette Filipacchi Magazines and Lagardere Active North America today will launch Ellegirl.com, giving the Internet precedence over the print publication of Elle Girl.
The French publisher debuts Ellegirl.com almost two months ahead of the print sibling's arrival at U.S. newsstands Aug. 28. Site visitor feedback will play a key role in the print version's makeup.
“We're hitting the stands with the conversation already ongoing,” Brandon Holley, first editor in chief of Elle Girl, New York, said earlier this month.
The title enters a market chock-full of teen girl magazines such as Teen Vogue, Teen, Teen People, Seventeen, YM and Cosmogirl.
Ellegirl.com is targeting girls age 12 to 17 in a marketplace that has changed over the years. Girls today spend a lot of time online. Ellegirl.com's launch will help establish the brand before it hits the stands.
Ellegirl.com is a Hachette partnership with New York-based Alloy, a leading teen site. Alloy will jointly develop editorial content and technology, driving traffic to Ellegirl.com through links.
Online readers will have direct involvement with the print version. The teens' votes will decide what celebrities will be covered in Elle Girl. They also will choose the first Elle Girl male-advice columnist. At least 10 pages in the magazine are directly related to feedback from site users.
Elle Girl will be published quarterly through 2002 and bimonthly thereafter. The first issue will have 96 editorial pages on beauty and fashion tips, health, advice, music, entertainment and, of course, boys. Sixty percent will be devoted to fashion and beauty.
Charter advertisers were not disclosed, but the publisher is targeting categories such as cosmetics and beauty products, entertainment and fashion.
The site will support itself through ads. There are no immediate plans for e-commerce.
In a twist, Hachette will not follow the time-honored industry practice of polybagging the debut Elle Girl issue with the older Elle magazine. Nor will it use direct mail to solicit pre-launch subscriptions, restricting itself to the Internet.
Still, 35 Elle international editions, including the U.S. version, will plug Elle Girl and Ellegirl.com. Possible promotions include charter subscription offers in Woman's Day and Elle. Mail-in subscription cards will be available only when Elle Girl hits the stands.
Elle Girl's cover price is $2.95. Separate European and Asian editions will follow the U.S. title's launch, though the time frame was not disclosed.
“What we want to create is sort of give a magazine that's aspirational in style but attainable in price,” Holley said. “So, basically, a glossy fashion magazine made for a teen allowance.”