She’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Vogue China and this year we were lucky enough to have Angelica Cheung attend the 2018 Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide & Unley.
At an intimate breakfast held at Level One Restaurant in Electra House, Angelica spoke candidly with Vogue Australia’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann and The Australian’s fashion editor, Glynis Traill-Nash.
Talking all things industry, Angelica touched on the success of the Chinese publication – which is now in its 13th year – and what it took to launch under an internationally renowned name.
“I don’t know how, it just happened!” she laughs.
“There was such a great market with such potential in China at the time, and we did market research and hardly anybody knew the name, let alone could say it… it was very difficult to say, but we launched it anyway, and here we are.”
The first edition sold out and needed to be reprinted – a rare occasion in the magazine world – and today, the magazine has a circulation of approximately 1.6 million with 16 editions published yearly.
“You can never estimate how fast the market can grow at the right time, but it happens and you have to move with it,” she says.
“The market has become very vibrant, and we have to think about how we keep our [Vogue] DNA true, which is 120 years old, but also continue to move into the future.”
This is where their latest publication was created in 2016 – Vogue Me, the magazine for China’s Millennial generation.
“We are giving them a platform to express themselves, but my voice is very minimal because I can’t pretend to be 18, and suddenly the younger generation feel like we are embracing them. Vogue isn’t so far away for them,” she says.
As with the other international Vogue arms, Vogue China and Vogue Me are both owned by Conde Nast International, the publishing arms also responsible for Vanity Fair and GQ.
Both Angelica and Edwina agree that this works to the benefit of their publications.
“They realise that each editor is different and knows their market – the beauty is to hire the right people and let them do it,” says Angelica.
“The content is really up to the individual editors.”
As for the future, Angelica, looks forward to continuously growing the Vogue China channels. She also hopes to further connect to people around the world, including in Australia.
This was one of the first times Angelica had returned to South Australia since completing her MBA at the University of South Australia in 2001.
“I’m very glad that we reconnected with Australia,” she says.
“It’s great to have this connection and be an ambassador of sorts.”