30 years of Elle Québec: the magazine wants to become a must-have again

It was the commotion in the offices of KO Media last Monday. Since purchasingElle Quebec and D’She Canada in May, the KO Group subsidiary went from 16 to 36 employees in a month. It was therefore necessary to move to larger premises, which is rare good news in a context where the print media community is experiencing serious problems.

Posted on Sep 12. 2019

Nathalie Collard

Nathalie Collard
The press

But at KO we still believe in paper. In addition to the two Shewe also publish Paper EditionK for Katrina and the company’s flagship publication, the magazine VERO† Not to mention KO Éditions, which publishes cookbooks by chef Yotam Ottolenghi, as well as biographies of Quebec personalities. The young publisher plans to launch five new titles this fall.

As he oversees the furnishing of the new spaces, the new editor, Sophie Banford, therefore takes care of the promotion of the number 30and birthdayElle Quebec starring Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse in the lead role.


The cover of the 30th anniversary issue ofElle Quebec stars actress Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse.

In this issue, of course, there are articles about fashion and trends, but you can also read a report on Yazidi women. “I’m a happy girl,” says Sophie Banford. I want readers to discover the reality of other women through the She† That they always find a very strong “women” corner there, like in the She France, a magazine I’ve always loved and grew up with. I strongly believe in this brand and I am fully in favor of this magazine becoming what it has been for a long time: highly recommended. †

Passion for trends

For years, Elle Quebec was THE magazine to consult to keep up to date with the latest fashion and beauty trends. By entrusting the artistic direction to long-time stylist Annie Horth, Sophie Banford aims to make the publication THE meeting place for fashionistas once again. “Fashion, Annie eats and breathes it,” says Sophie Banford. She has amazing talent. It offers strong images that cannot be seen on the internet. I’m sure people will buy the magazine to see what it will do. †

In an environment where fashion photos are all over Instagram, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. The new editor ofElle Quebec is aware of it. “We have to be even more demanding and sharp when we talk about trends,” she emphasizes. We talk about paper, but we are also multi-platform. We’re going to find people where they are. †

Since fashion photos abound on Instagram, you must have a very strong editorial side. What readers will see with us, they will not find on social networks. There will be a real curation.

Sophie Banford, editor ofElle Quebec

Mother of two boys, including a teenager, Sophie Banford does not hide, she wants to make young people want to buy a paper magazine. “I say it often, paper is a form of screen detox,” she notes. It is a concern in my life as a mother. I’m not saying that screens are just bad, but everything we consume can only be done on screens. †

Women from Quebec, avid readers

It is clear to Sophie Banford and her team that the reader from Quebec has changed a lot in recent years. “She looks much more closely at fashion and beauty. Instagram has democratized fashion and image,” comments Louis Morissette’s partner.

Quebec women are more trendy these days, they are more sensitive to beauty. This applies in fashion, but also in design and food.

Sophie Banford, editor ofElle Quebec

“When I started in the magazine world, you had to be careful not to lose readers, not just talk to us among ourselves,” adds the editor. The urban reader was more sophisticated than the one who lived outside the major centers. This is no longer the case today. Social networks make everything accessible. †

Elle Quebec (and its English Canadian counterpart) She Canada) remains a mass magazine, but the new editor, who previously worked at Transcontinental and Rogers, won’t be afraid to propose more daring topics. “I want these magazines to feed the curious,” says Sophie Banford, who also wants to turn them into a tool for “empowerment,” a word she says doesn’t translate very well into French. “I would like the reader to discover other realities by reading this magazine, that she thinks she is overwhelmed, that she feels inspired and that she wants to act. We are not superficial because we are talking about makeup and fashion. We can also talk about the election campaign and the imminent arrival of Greta Thunberg. †

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