Karlie Kloss, the supermodel, entrepreneur, investor, and former Scooter Braun client, is in talks to buy i-D magazine from Vice Media, I’ve been told. I know little about the terms of the deal, only that it would make Kloss the proprietor of the U.K.-based culture and fashion publication, which was acquired by Vice in 2012, and probably remains most famous as the launching pad for a former teenage fashion director named Edward Enninful. The stylist Alastair Mckimm would stay on as editor-in-chief, I hear, which bodes well for the talented people working over there.
This is not Kloss’s first dip into media: She previously led a consortium of investors—including movie producer Jason Blum, Kaia Gerber, the fashionable race car driver Lewis Hamilton, and Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green—who partnered with Bustle Digital Group to buy W magazine in 2020 from Marc Lotenberg, whose Twitter (er, X) profile reads, “Business, with a side of controversy.” Cool guy.
Kloss appears to be doing the i-D deal solo, although it’s too early to know whether there will be any sort of agreement with Bustle to sell advertising, like there is with W. (Remember, i-D is based in the U.K. and has its own commercial team in place.) However, I’ve heard that the W-BDG deal has been good for BDG, attracting luxury advertisers that it wouldn’t otherwise be able to pull in, and that advertisers like working with BDG because the group is digital-first and doesn’t require so much investment in the print product specifically. (Legacy publishers often force advertisers to spend a certain amount of money on print specifically.)
A Kloss acquisition seems like a logical (and excellent, really) end point for a fashion glossy—into the arms of a wealthy benefactor who probably just wants it to do great work, eke out some profit one day, and presumably act as a useful tool for personal tax consequences. There was no doubting i-D would get scooped up in the Vice fallout: Fashion magazines in the U.K. are more efficiently run, and, like Interview and W in the U.S., they remain somewhat culturally relevant. (If you haven’t read my former BoF colleague Osman Ahmed’s interview with Raf Simons, Matthieu Blazy, and Pieter Mulier from i-D’s Spring 2023 issue, please do. It’s my favorite fashion piece from this year by far.)