"I'm pretty much the launch queen," says Priya Tanna with a laugh from her office in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). "I've promised myself that this is going to be the last one." For most editors, launches are a tremendous deal, but for Tanna, 33, they are old hat: she has already launched several entertainment and fashion-related newspapers and supplements, a fashion website and India's first teen magazine. Now, for her final launch (she hopes), Tanna is bringing the fashion world's iconic Vogue title to the Indian market. "I think for the longest time Vogue was a bit of an elusive dream for the Indian woman," says Tanna. "Unlike China, we've always been surrounded by a sense of luxury. We've had the maharajas who've grown up with Louis Vuitton trunks and jewelry made exclusively for them by Cartier and Boucheron and all that. There's been no cultural revolution that's been thrust upon us. It's not as if we're seeing our first red lipstick and going out and buying it in hundreds of thousands. India is getting richer. At a very micro level, I think every Indian woman who is now financially independent is realizing the joys of guilt-free consumption. We are kind of moving from a 'we' culture to a 'me' culture."
For Tanna, a Vogue reader since age 12, becoming the title's editor has been surreal. Last winter, during her first Milan fashion week, she was feted by industry bigwigs. "When the flashbulbs went on and Giorgio Armani walked in and embraced me, it was one of those moments I'll remember forever."
Her goals for the magazine are pure. The initial circulation will be 50,000, which, Tanna says, is impressive for a new market. "I've had so many moments of falling in love with fashion. For me it's empowering, it's beautiful, it's creative. And truly that's what I wish for every single reader of this magazine: that they learn to employ fashion. It's an important tool. I don't know who said, 'Clothes make the man,' but I'm sure he wasn't lying."
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