Runway first started out as Runway Model Magazine in the late 80’s. I started it mostly as a way of getting women to do photo shoots for me. It was an excuse to get women half-naked in front of the camera. I never knew I would have girls and guys lined up around the pool, simply to get some shots from a non-experienced photographer- such as I was.
After the first “Cattle Call” Runway Models took off. We did calendars, baseball cards, posters and anything we could print beautiful women on at the time. Then I started receiving requests for editorials. It was perfect because that was exactly what Runway needed. I wanted something more for our viewers [notice I said viewers, since there was literally nothing to read, only images of beautiful women and men.] I needed something with substance if I wanted my small audience to take me seriously.
In 1994 I added an editorial section to the magazine. The editorials were mainly centered on fashion and lifestyle. This went over so well with my peers that soon they were begging for more. In late 1994, I changed the name of the publication to Runway Magazine. I knew then, that I really had something special.
We concentrated mostly on the Catwalk/Runway Fashion industry and an in-depth look at what really goes on behind the scenes. With all the images of collections and celebrity editorials, Runway Magazine started to become a light at the end of a tunnel. Nobody on my team quite knew what we had at the moment. However, it was quite clear we had a niche in the market.
Then in the mid 90’s, the Social media craze started and nobody really knew what to do with it. I think the dating sites were the first to be called “social media” since you were able to create a profile online. Then forums such as vBulletin and phpBB were developed, many of which are still used for forums today.
In 1997 Six Degrees emerged as the first modern social network, allowing users to create profiles and then connect with other users. They were soon followed by Live Journal, World of Warcraft, Friendster and ultimately Facebook in 2006. From there it has been a race to find the next big thing.
Having said that, you should know that if you entered the term “Runway” in an online search engine in the early 2000’s and clicked on images; all you saw were pictures of airports and actual runways from airports. I am positive we had much to do with converting the word into what it is today. Now, when you search for Runway Magazine, you see all of our fashion images and those of other companies who started trending behind me.
It was in 2006 with the premiere of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” that Runway really started to gain notoriety. The film tells the story of a naive young woman who comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city’s biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly.
Directed by: Dan Frankel,
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
You may also want to read more about the runway magazine.