In a milestone for South African publishing, Ndalo Media, publisher of the popular Destiny magazine, will be the new local publishers of international fashion magazine brand Elle, making it the first wholly black-owned media company to secure exclusive licensing for one of the world’s oldest and most popular magazine brands.
Ndalo Media, owned by Khanyi Dhlomo, announced on 4 April 2017 that it had secured the South African licences for the Elle and Elle Decoration magazine brands. For the first time in Elle’s 21-year history in the country, the Paris-based media brand will be published by a 100% black-owned media company.
In announcing the news, Dhlomo said her company’s licence for one of the longest-running fashion and lifestyle brands was a milestone in South African publishing.
Despite tough competition in the global magazine market – an industry often dismissed as in decline against growing digital migration – Dhlomo said the Elle brand’s “relevance, global leadership position and longevity” made it a solid investment for South African readers.
Ndalo has the exclusive licence to Elle’s print, digital and events extensions in South Africa.
“(Elle) have an unparalleled power to live impactfully beyond print and that’s what I find most exciting,” Dhlomo said. “We look forward to working with (French owners) Lagardère Active to ensure Elle and Elle Decoration captivate and inspire millennial-minded consumers across various platforms for years to come.”
This year, Ndalo celebrates 10 years of publishing one of South Africa’s most popular magazines, Destiny, including the Destiny Man offshoot. The company is also extensively involved in digital and content marketing, as well as book publishing. In addition, it is involved in promoting women in business and supporting education and youth initiatives in South Africa.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa fourth quarter circulation reports for 2016, Destiny is the leading women’s general print publication in the country, with a circulation of 27,105. Destiny Man leads in the men’s market category with a circulation of 14,775.
Dhlomo said the company was committed to entrenching the core Elle values of personal style and personal power, yet Ndalo would look to expanding the brand’s smart and irreverent take on fashion, beauty and pop culture into “the exciting growth market of the African millennial”.
Speaking to 702 Radio’s Azania Mosaka about the deal, Dhlomo emphasised that service to readers was paramount in the expansion of the Elle brand in South Africa, particularly when it came to the relationship between print and digital publishing: “Consumers want to access brands that they love and trust, anywhere, anyhow, at any time and so the survival and profitability of any media brand is to deliver on that.”
Listen to the full 702 interview with Dhlomo
“When you have access to an already powerful brand that has already done the hard work of winning consumer trust and love and awareness it becomes a much easier job to then build that ecosystem of platforms, experiences and products and services around that particular brand.”
Francois Coruzzi, CEO of Elle International Media Licences, said in a press release that Ndalo Media received the local licence based on its “strong ability to extend media brands beyond print successfully… it is the ideal partner to consolidate and grow Elle and Elle Decoration even further in this dynamic media environment.”
The Elle July issue and Elle Decoration August/September issue will be the first editions published by Ndalo Media.
News of Ndalo’s acquisition was a trending topic on South African Twitter, with a host of well-known and ordinary South Africans praising this milestone in local publishing and pledging support for the brand.
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