People magazine is bringing back People StyleWatch as a new digital vertical. The relaunch will drop on Cyber Monday, which is Nov. 28, typically the biggest online shopping day of the year and, like Black Friday, a bellwether for the holiday shopping season that’s critical to brands (both mass-market and specialty).
StyleWatch is the first digital play for the legacy publisher under the ownership of DotDash Meredith; Barry Diller’s DotDash acquired People publisher Meredith at the end of 2021. People StyleWatch first bowed 20 years ago as a print magazine, but the print magazine was shuttered in 2017 by then-owner Time Inc.
Reality TV personalities Aurora, Olivia and Sophia Culpo are the inaugural issue cover stars. Social media influencers, they have more than 6 million followers, and the reality TV stars of “The Culpo Sisters” on TLC/discovery+ will open up about everything from breast lifts to Botox.
There are also interviews with Drew Barrymore (a frequent People cover face) discussing how her style has evolved, and a Q&A with model Karlie Kloss. Carolina Herrera is the inaugural brand sponsor, with the brand’s Good Girl Eau de Parfum and Men’s Bad Boy Eau de Toilette Spray.
StyleWatch’s editorial content will emphasize shoppability, highlighting style and beauty trends accessible to the People reader. People magazine still mails print copies to virtually every Zip Code in America. And the new StyleWatch will be very much in line with the broad mass market appeal of People, noted Leah Wyer, entertainment group president at DotDash Meredith.
“We want to make sure we’re presenting the best things that are also affordable because you don’t want to alienate your audience. You want to make sure that you’re meeting them where they want to be,” Wyer said.
When People StyleWatch launched two decades ago it sat alongside Lucky as the first shopping catalogue, a precursor to e-commerce. Cover features included the best jeans and how to wear them, with stock photos of celebrities wearing denim, for example. The new StyleWatch, said Wyer, will be a more premium experience with original interviews and photo shoots, while also stressing accessibility. The first issue includes nearly 20 shoppable features, including a piece on the best accessories for under $100.
Overall, People.com readers “have enormous intent to shop,” Wyer said.
Across all of DotDash Meredith — which includes Brides, Byrdie, InStyle and Shape — People, added Wyer, “is the largest source of news and deals products. Six out of the top 10 merchant partners on People are apparel and footwear brands and retailers. And so there is already a natural form of this shopping happening every single day, multiple times a day on the site. This is just creating like a beautiful way to package it.”