Bad news reached me via social media last week - Company Magazine will be ending its print run in October 2014.
Admittedly, placed alongside the world's global atrocities this newsflash pales in comparison; but I'm still sad and in a bit of a panic.
First up, the sad bit. It's fair to say I am a total fashion magazine freak. There is inadequate room for my magazine collection in my current lodgings. They spill out of boxes and lean defiantly against anything unyielding and upright, creating a Domino Rally effect around the room if accidentally knocked into - and that's just the fashion weeklies. Don't even get me started on the fashion monthlies; my husband stubbed his toe on my 2014 Vogue back catalogue the other day and his language was neither elegant nor tasteful as befits the content. I am seriously considering investing in extra storage in my new gaff to accommodate my dirty habit.
Please don't think I'm strange or put me forward as subject matter for Britain's Biggest Hoarders. You see, magazines provide me with a trickling stream of fashion-inspo, useful knowledge and cultural fodder to feed my inquisitive mind. My wonky right shoulder and slightly loosened Michael Kors Tote bear the brunt of my addiction as newly purchased magazines get hoofed around London, along with their best mate A Proper Book, ready to devour whenever a gap in the day permits.
Company is undoubtedly high up the list of my favourite monthlies and I'm disheartened by the news that the Hearst UK magazine will cease print publication after 36 years and go digital only.
In my opinion it's one of the best reads out there. I love how it resembles a beautiful picture book but with impressive material to accompany the imagery. The front cover is always a riot of colour and adorned with fierce female leads (Hi, Haim in the We Love Paris February 2014 issue) and each spine declares a quirky little message to steer you through the most difficult of days, such as You're Gonna Need a Bigger Wardrobe!' and See You at the Style Stage.
Its matte-finish, scrapbook-style layout and splashes of complimentary hues are charming. The blog-like photographs are stunning but there's also a whole lot of substance among the pages. Company's Features Writers give good feature - engaging articles that inspire and I read the entire thing from cover to cover rather than flick through aimlessly.
The fashion is incomparable and like me, Company fully appreciates the terrific collision between music and fashion. Sumptuous mood boards, smart edits and photos of fashion idols that valiantly lead the style tribes - like the inimitable Julia Sarr-Jamois - always co-exist with hot pieces from the high street, a cool new website or a lusted-after designer. It never feels exclusive or unobtainable though; clever styling and writing tricks you into believing the style editors are just like you - rather than über-stylish fashionistas.
Arguably, Company is educational with new-season books, apps that enhance your life, career tips for bloggers and stuff that is #trending - like actual brand-new restaurants, books, gigs and fashion launches that make you believe they've been cherry-picked just for you. The magazine remains, to the best of my knowledge, a Kardashian-free zone and in the age of hyperbole and celebrity-saturation that's no mean feat. It champions women who help make the world a better place with creativity and talent and who carve the way for the next generation of smart young things eager to make their mark.
Finally, it's honest and really funny - like having your best mate at your side. Columnist Jameela Jamil completely won me over in April 2003 when she was brave enough to defy the army of Rihanna fans. Her hilarious article about the artist's constant flashing of her, ahem, bits and potential impact on younger fans who may believe getting naked is the only way to prove your worth, was inspired. It mirrored my own thoughts about this subject and any article that closes with Rihanna, I love you, but put your m*nge away will you? 'is a winner for me. You must read it, it's brilliant.
So, the panic bit. Sadly, the printed version of Company magazine joins the list of my favourite things now discontinued and never to be seen again (like Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Fawn - an outrage!) and this leaves me a bit concerned about what's left fluttering around in the magazine market.
Amongst the torrent of appalling weeklies that lurk on the shelves - you know the sort, crammed with salacious non-news and diet and exercise obsession that leaves women feeling awful about their bodies - Company is a beacon of sense and positivity. A cool best mate among a gang of mean girls.
It never bitches or focuses on the inane, it celebrates the pioneers. Magazines that belittle, objectify and pit women against other women are not cool. "Lauren Goodger is branded 'tragic' for her boob selfles" was a heading that shrieked from the page of a well-known weekly the other day. Is this really what we've got to look forward to instead? If so ladies, we're doomed. It's money-making meanness and it drains my brain. Boobs, bums, diatribe against women and obsessions with how we look rather than what we achieve does not a good magazine make.
We're entering into a new phase and I guess it's time I faced facts and accepted that reading habits are changing. According to Anna Jones, Hearst Magazines UK chief executive “As a standalone digital brand, Company is well placed to provide a unique and dedicated service to this dynamic 16-24 old female demographic" - which is great news (and hope 30-somethings are allowed in too). Company already has a notable social media presence across all the well-known channels and so if I can get my fix online now then it's not all bad.
So farewell printed Company magazine, you have been influential. I look forward to your legacy continuing in digital form but will definitely miss your colourful, matte print version - and opportunities to re-create a Domino Rally topple which, let's face it, is pretty awesome.
13 August 2014 – the guardian.com – Company magazine to go digital-only amid falling sales April 2003 – company. co.uk - Put It Away RiRi!