Is this going to turn into a short-lived blip in print, fizzling like a trend that does not quite catch on? While the printed word and photograph is having to reevaluate the mediums on which it thrived, it comes as a shocker when a new lifestyle magazine like Haute Muse surfaces onto the scene. A bodacious move Haute Muse is founded by three young Arab women based in Qatar, and seeks to establish a faculty of fashion credibility that stems from the Arab world, but speaks fluently to an international audience.
A few years ago, Alef, gracefully appeared onto the printed scene with its well designed pages and visually arresting front covers. Heralding from Kuwait, the magazine exhibited and celebrated an Arab cultural universe, percolating with fashion, art and architecture. Yet somehow it disappeared and failed to persevere. Is Haute Muse the latest contender in the business of magazines? Ten years ago, the quantity of published magazines on the market were much higher than they are today. Worldwide publishing conglomerate Condé Nast has had to realign itself in years passed, banishing Men’s Vogue, Jane, House and Garden, and Condé Nast Portfolio from its printed enterprise. Yet beyond the unmissable factors which pertain to advertising and the economy, something interesting has been taking place in the realms of lifestyle and editorial credibility. While Anna Wintour and Vogue remain influential in the arena, their plausibility has become apportioned among unconventional figures and sources like bloggers and younger online magazines. Consequently, publications like Vogue and The New York Times now boast a good number of young editors and writers who come exclusively from blogging and tweeting backgrounds. Online magazine Lonny has gained widespread success and is exclusively spearheaded by young, fresh writers who come from blogging backgrounds.
Haute Muse possesses similar traits in its institution. Noor and Fatma Al-Thani have both built a following with their blogs on fashion and the Middle East. Thus far, the magazine has had some weighty splashes. Olivia Palermo and Bonnie Wright have graced the magazine’s first two covers. Shooting for the third cover has just finished, manifesting an opulent Kim Kardashian in Dubai. Time will tell if Haute Muse will remain buoyant. In a market where print is succumbing to the tyranny of the pixel, it is a praiseworthy initiative nonetheless.