Karl Lagerfeld may have already made amends with British songstress Adele after calling her “fat” early this year, but it seems another unflattering comment—and possibly, an apology—is heading her way. Speaking to an audience at the ToMax talk in London last Wednesday called Fashion and Fantasy: What’s in Vogue and Why Does It Matter?, Vogue UK’s Alexandra Shulman revealed, “Adele is the most popular woman in the world, but one of the worst sellers we’ve ever had.”
Adele graced the October 2011 issue of British Vogue, the edition Shulman zeroed in on as their magazine’s worst performers in terms of sales. To be clear, Shulman did say first that music stars haven’t yielded the same circulation success as other celebrities or models.
There is however, a noticeable inconsistency between what Shulman said some seven months after the issue was released and what they wrote last September 27. “The musician has been one of the magazine’s most popular cover girls yet, with an unprecedented number of user comments flooding in showing their appreciation,” writes Ella Alexander. To be fair, that was before official sales figures trickled in.
If there’s another thing to be learned from this—besides speaking too soon—it’s the bittersweet truth that though popularity is a factor in selecting cover stars, it’s not a foolproof formula towards lucrative and commercial success. Although it’s easy to assume that Shulman—who has 20 years of Vogue experience—should have already unraveled the secret to magazine success by now, it appears as if fashion readers’ preferences are too erratic to nail down.