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Magazine distribution weirdness. - Elf M. Sternberg
Magazine distribution weirdness.
One of my biggest complaints about most science fiction is that the authors tend to be big fans of architecture; they love to describe building and starships in detail, but when it comes to the clothing they tend not to be quite so impressive. Compare and contrast the matte paintings and digital backdrops of the first three Star Wars films with the costuming, and you'll see what I mean. It's even more obvious in literary sources.

I try to correct that by paying attention to fashion, and learning the terminology, and laying it out for the readers. To do this, I read fashion magazines, and one of my favorites is Vogue Italia, one of the editions where I can't read a word but the fashions for both men and women are quite amazing. A few times a year, the Italian edition publishes Bambini, for kids' fashions. That's an especially useful edition: the bright colors and outlandish cuts of expensive euroclothes for kids and teens often has a strong SF feel to them, especially if you posit a culture with a lot of affluence and automated customization.

This morning, as I was walking from where my first bus drops me off to where I pick up the transfer to the office, I stopped by the magazine stand and spotted a copy of Bambini amongs all the other fashion magazines. And on the cover was a note: "For sale in the United States only."

The magazine is still entirely in Italian. A special printing of this Italian fashion magazine was done for the USA market. The publishers felt there's a big enough market in the US to justify the expense of a unique print run, but not big enough to justify doing any translation. I'm trying to figure out what editorial decision led to that.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Kidney Thieves, Black Bullet

4 comments or Leave a comment
abostick59 From: abostick59 Date: October 26th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
My serious thought: What sets this edition apart is the ads. The advertising is aimed at American readers of Bambini. The reason it's not translated is, well, translations cost money, and why bother when the edition, an afterthought, is going to earn out anyway?

My cynical thought: The US-only edition of Bambini is missing the fashion pictures that Europeans would shrug at but would risk prosecution in the US as child pornography.
jeriendhal From: jeriendhal Date: October 26th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
BTW You might want to look in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan books for good descriptions of costuming. Especially on backward, military mad Barrayar.
whipartist From: whipartist Date: October 26th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may have more of a European feel, and therefore feel more hoity-toity and high-class, if it's still in Italian. I'd imagine that suits their target demographic pretty well.
hydrolagus From: hydrolagus Date: October 26th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've had this grouse about cons as well. It seems like such the opportunity to play. The couture lines of some designers (Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gaultier come to mind) are a goldmine of ideas.
4 comments or Leave a comment