New lifestyle magazines vie for student attention

by Caitlin Collins / Beacon Staff • September 8, 2011

For four years, students craving the lowdown on hip eateries and vogue hip-huggers have grazed the glossy pages of em Magazine, the sole lifestyle publication on campus.

Now, two new online startups have challenged the magazine’s hegemony.

Your Magazine launched this summer, publishing its first issue online Sept. 1.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Olivia Moravec said the monthly, like em Mag, covers romance, art, entertainment, and fashion but offers more accessible clothing options than its competitor.

Before starting her own publication, Moravec served as the assistant looks editor and a model at em Mag.

“Em Mag appeals more to people who would read Cosmopolitan or Vogue, which a lot of people do,” said Moravec. “As students, we can’t always afford it. The whole point of Your Magazine is to better relate and provide a guide for Emerson students who want to go out in Boston and find a better deal.”

The rivalry has already sparked improvements for em Mag. It launched a revamped website two days before Your Mag’s release.

“I’m never happy with a magazine,” said Justin Reis, one of two editors-in-chief. “A magazine never really rests; it keeps growing.”

Like em Mag, Moravec’s staff of 24 curate music playlists, maintain a calendar of campus and city events, review restaurants and profile neighborhoods.

Still, Moravec said her webzine’s focus on affordable fashion makes it unique.

“I see us going in two different ways,” the marketing major said. “[em Magazine is] very high fashion and it’s great for people who want to go into fashion magazines. But with Your Magazine, I just want to focus on things people want to write and what people want to read.”

Your Mag is not the only online lifestyle publication to launch this semester. Atlas Magazine, created by Sarah Dwyer, a junior writing, literature, and publishing major, will also have sections devoted to events and fashion. Dwyer said she sees her publication as a means for Emerson students to get a jump start in their prospective career paths.

“It’s designed to be a tool for Emerson students to get ahead in the field they’re passionate about,” Dwyer said of the publication, which, like em Mag, will be printed once a semester.

Dwyer said she does not want to compete with em Magazine, or any other lifestyle publication at Emerson even though Atlas Magazine will have similar features. But the webzine is still in its beginning phases, with a few dozen introductory posts so far.

Reis said his main advantage over the new magazines is em Mag’s history. The publication has been prevalent at Emerson since 2007 and has a large staff of students who do everything from market the magazine to create content for it.

“New magazines have to figure out their own mistakes,” Reis said.

But Pete Ivanecky, junior visual and media arts major and creative director of Your Mag, said he disagrees with Reis.

“It’s not about who has the most experience,” Ivanecky said. “We’re not trying to mess with them. To be frank, they’re just magazines. People are just very interested in drama.”

Moravec echoed Ivanecky’s words.

“Everybody at Emerson is looking to get experience. There are going to be different groups doing the same thing,” she said. “But they’re all just trying to get experience.”