The Real Reasons September Issues Are Such a Big Deal

Every year when September rolls around, the fashion magazines we love most seem to grow in size and hype. Who will have the largest issue? Who will have the coolest cover? Who, essentially, will deliver the best September issue? But lost beneath all of this speculation is the question of why they’re so important in the first place.

I posed the question to one of my favorite fashion experts, The New York Times writer Alexandra Jacobs, who explained, “Even after one outgrows Seventeen and its ilk, a September issue signals ‘back to school.’ Autumn is the time of important cultural happenings, of re-engaging with the outside world and the intellect, after the sanctioned mindlessness and insularity of summer. So I always welcome its commanding thwap in my mailbox. [And] I think September issues have grown more powerful, partly because of the PR boost they got from R.J. Cutler's 2009 documentary, and partly because the Internet is so desperate for new fodder, even the dubious suspense of a cover-subject selection.” Touché.

Scroll down for a further explanation of her points and others that are crucial to understanding why September issues have become so important.