When things went on track for Vogue Nippon, Mitsuko Watanabe was appointed as the editor in chief. Kazuhiro Saito devoted himself as the president of the company and also the editor in chief of GQ JAPAN, which was launched in 2003. Around this time, the website VOGUE.com was also becoming a priority.

Ms. Watanabe’s appointment as editor in chief came 5 days prior to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Due to the financial crisis that followed after the bankruptcy, the world of fashion magazines was greatly affected. Ms. Watanabe’s new role came with a great challenge ahead of her.

“I had to come to terms with the fact that it was going to be a rough time,” said Ms. Watanabe. Having thought what she could do, she started with creating a detailed magazine with more information and certain themes being delved into. In a sense, it was a good opportunity to think about what to do with Vogue and make a magazine constantly loved by the readers.

Vogue Japan (renamed from Vogue Nippon on Mar 28, 2011) today is greatly supported by its fashion director at large, Anna Dello Russo. Its mission is to be the best fashion magazine in Japan and also be of top global quality.

“We must remain a magazine which is acknowledged by those in the global fashion industry as well as fashionistas. That is why our photo shoots must be of top quality! Anna exerts her talents here the most.”

Anna Dello Russo worked under Franca Sozzani, the editor in chief of Vogue Italia for nearly 20 years. She understands Vogue, fashion, the industry and working with creators.

After the Paris collections, a meeting is held among Watanabe, Anna Dello Russo, international fashion director Gene Krell, international beauty director Cathy Phillips, booking director Andy Whelan, fashion market director Saori Masuda and others to decide upon the styles of the covers for the upcoming six months (selected from the latest NY, London, Milan and Paris collections) and the photographers to handle them. Recently, Patrick Demarchelier, who also handles American Vogue, is the regular photographer. Once the covers designs have been decided, the well and FOB (Front of Book / features placed at the beginning) can be roughly planned. Since famous fashion photographers are busy with shoots for brands’ campaigns right after collections, securing their schedules ahead of time is crucial.

“Vogue is Vogue” expresses the best with the best quality. Conde Nast International evaluates all Vogue editors in chief in 20 countries from two main viewpoints- ethos and localization (the originality of each country). It is a severe world; rivals are domestic media and Vogue from other countries.

To be continued into 6/12.