“InStyle and StyleWatch are quite different from each other in terms of...” w/ Ariel Foxman

Updated: Dec 16, 2017

As we grow up, we are immediately a beautiful soul. And that beautiful soul grows and learns every second, of every minute, of every day. We follow a program of order. We learn what we like, what we don’t like, and as we grow, we gravitate toward the things we want and avoid the things we don’t like. As we grow older our soul, body, and mind develop new ways to communicate. The language we speak becomes more than a program. It becomes a symbol. And it comes from the world we are raised in whether it’s from school, playgrounds, friends, relationships, or within our community. It changes. In the end, we realize the symbols we speak are a language we end up learning through everyday things. And we follow that language. At a certain point, you understand that it’s your way of communicating with each other.

The same can be said for the media. The media is such a strong and powerful industry, and a lot of people believe that what you see and hear about is the “true” story. What a lot of content consumers don’t realize is that every media outlet such as the TODAY Show has a language of their own. They have a program which they follow, and that is their way of communicating to content consumers. Magazine outlets are the same; they have a language they follow that they speak and every magazine publication has a different one. InStyle and StyleWatch are both powerful enforcers in New York. Ariel Foxman is the former Editorial Director for InStyle Magazine & StyleWatch Magazine, and his workload is a lot every day as well as during fashion week. Before the Greg Lauren show of spring 2015 Ariel and I were able to speak about fashion week, business, and hectic lines fashion week held. Recently I was able to chat with my good friend Ariel again, take a look.

As the Editorial Director for InStyle & StyleWatch, what is it like to be in charge of publication(s)? “While I act as the Editorial Director for both magazines, I work more closely on a day-to-day basis with the InStyle team. Lisa Arbetter, Editor of StyleWatch, does many of the tasks associated with that magazine, though I’m involved on a strategic level, and the two of us are constantly in communication. A typical day for me usually begins with a breakfast with someone in either the fashion industry, Hollywood community or one of our clients.

I then come to my office and look at the red folder my assistant puts together, which contains the reader mail we've received overnight. We answer all the letters one way or another - I feel like this sort of sets the tone for the day. We're reaching over 24 million people, each with their own thoughts and opinions on our content.

I then go through the more urgent emails, look at proofs, layouts, and imagery. And then there is a series of meetings with everyone involved in the brand. I meet with my editors to check in on any of the four issues that we're working on simultaneously, and our digital team to oversee digital and social projects. A good chunk of the day is spent fine-tuning our cover, whether that's selecting the film or the cover lines or playing with the banner, and I work with our creative director on that. I usually have lunch, do a chunk of email, then we have layout meetings, and that usually closes out the day at the office.

And then I usually have a launch event to attend, to support a new designer, a new line, maybe a screening of a movie that is showcasing a new talent that we want to check out and put in the magazine. No day is ever boring! Two out of the five nights there's usually a dinner as well, composed of some variation of this talented group of individuals. And then I go home and sometimes in the evening while I'm home, I read all our stories. I read everything twice. And I'm usually reading and doing research for the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of the next day, to make sure that I'm as up to date as possible so that I can ask the right questions of whomever I'm sitting with.”

What is the difference between both magazines? “InStyle and StyleWatch are quite different from each other in terms of what they cover. InStyle owns the red carpet – so you’ll find the latest coverage of celebrities and red carpet events with a service component. Its content is a bit more aspirational – while we don’t feature high-end products exclusively, we represent a wide range of price points that skew towards luxury. We also shoot a different celebrity for our covers each month, usually tying to a timely release (say, an album, film or charity), offering an exclusive interview in that issue.

StyleWatch is the fast, fun, shopping-focused source for the trend-conscious millennial. It’s about getting inspiration from street style more than the runway and seeks to make every type of woman feel at home on its pages. It’s all about the latest fashion and beauty trends you can wear every day.”

What is it like to be an Editorial Director (Editor in Chief) of InStyle & StyleWatch at New York Fashion Week? What’s your role throughout the week during those seven days, do you attend parties & events, and any publication work to keep up the site like write-ups? “Fashion Week is an essential time of year for both magazines because it previews the trends that will make their way into stores the following season. The runway is particularly crucial for InStyle, where we cover the looks and designers in depth.

Both the InStyle and StyleWatch fashion teams are on the road for the majority of fashion month - I attend as many shows as possible as well as meet with designers and partners in New York, Milan, and Paris. It helps to stay abreast of the coming trends and maintain relationships with our clients, as well as to ensure that the hottest and most current trends make their way into our fashion coverage.”

This is such an interesting view - if you want to pitch a story to a magazine about Mark Zuckerberg being an internet king, you need to ice the cake differently to publications such as Vanity Fair, InStyle, and even Vogue. Just like how every human being reads and understands things different, every media outlet reads and understands stories different. It’s all a language, and at a certain point, you know that it’s your way of communicating with each other.