Luxury Spotlight: Meredith Xavier from Ligné Magazine
Interior design can be dynamic and dramatic or it can be soft and supple but it should always be inspired. Meredith Xavier founder of the Ligne Agency and Ligné Magazine fell in love with beautiful things when working for Christies in Beverly Hills. After tiptoeing around the basement of the National Gallery and grabbing her Masters in Fine and Decorative Arts Connoisseurship she started the innovative Ligne Agency. Dealing exclusively with the creative world of interior design, the Ligne Agency offers a full public relations and business development service. Their highly selective client list boats the best artisans and designers in the business ensuring that high class vision is everything. We sit down with Meredith to find out how the ever tactile company of Ligne Agency is moving forward in the art of the digital age.
Every luxury expert has a different story on how they got started in the industry. What is yours?
I started at Christie’s Auction House in Beverly Hills. They hired me as an intern when I was a Junior at Pepperdine – and I became enamored with the culture. I was surrounded by incredible and significant works of art and decorative pieces. Soon I was cataloging sales and handling the business side of the art world.
I moved to London after I graduated and obtained my Masters in Fine and Decorative Arts Connoisseurship from Christie’s through the University of Glasgow. We spent our afternoons in the basement of the National Gallery viewing works of art the public has probably never seen. It was an incredible experience – and I knew working with the buyers and clients at this level was exactly where I wanted to be.
Tell us about Ligné Magazine. Who is your core audience and what marketing opportunities do you offer luxury brands?
Ligné Magazine started as an interior design focused publication and over the years has grown to encompass travel, fashion and culture. There is so much great design out there and sadly not as many places to get it published as there used to be in terms of print – so I decided to start my own magazine and tell the stories I wanted to tell. And I absolutely love to write, when I can find the time.
Our audience is consumers in the top 2% HHI and architects and designers that are working on multi-million dollar homes. Our print issue has controlled distribution, so our advertisers know exactly who it is going to. That is the biggest draw about working with Ligné Magazine. Our online readers vary greatly, but one thing they all have in common is a passion for interior design. That is the core of the magazine and always will be.
In what ways has your publication changed over the years? And how has your publication remained successful in light of competing digital magazines?
Like any magazine we have evolved dramatically each year. The design is better, the content is more international – and we are constantly striving to bring beautiful design to people who are perpetually on the lookout for ways to enhance their home, wardrobe and overall lifestyle. I don’t feel that we are competing with other digital publications – we live in a world that constantly bombards you with information. There is so much to see online that it is at times completely overwhelming. On the upside of that, digital publishing makes it easy to consume several magazines a day regardless of where you are. Ligné Magazine is meant to be something to escape with – a beautiful, clean design with great features that our readers can truly enjoy.
What do you think is the future for print publications, as compared to digital alternatives?
We print Ligné Magazine because the design industry is very tactile. They want to turn the pages, flag designs, bend a page corner – and even tear out images to put on an inspiration board. This is the beauty of print publications. What we are sharing and writing about is nothing like a newspaper. The magazines are meant to be kept and read over and over again – I will always prefer to read a magazine in print than online.
Digital brings accessibility. Articles are easy to share and everyone loves a good Pinterest board. We have a need for both, and I think we always will.
How has the world of social media affected print publications? And what is your strategy when it comes to social media?
Social media has allowed magazines to expand their audience by sharing original content and driving direct traffic directly back to their publication. It also helps build anticipation towards future issues – we love to preview articles or give sneak peeks to our social media followers so they have the inside track on our upcoming issues.
Many print magazines also manage a successful luxury blog. What is your take on this?
For us, we can’t put everything in print – so online is a venue to share stories and content that we think our audience would love, and just simply doesn’t work into an upcoming print issue. Having an online presence as a publication is vital to keeping readers engaged. It allows constant communication with readers that wouldn’t be available otherwise.
What do you think constitutes a successful marketing campaign? And what are some examples of successful campaigns that have featured in your publication?
A successful marketing campaign makes you stop and pay attention – whether through verbiage or imagery. It engages, and gives a relevant message to the audience for which it was created. Most of our advertisers are shelter industry focused, and the most successful campaigns are the simple ones. They exhibit great design with no fuss – they allow the quality of the product to come through and speak for itself.
Like most successful blogger/editor, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?
I look for the unique – the one of a kind, and the true talent that isn’t just regurgitating what has been seen time and time again. I also publish products and projects that I personally feel stand for something. Sadly, that’s few and far between. And brands that send me a concise, to the point pitch that is tailored for our publication have a much better chance of getting coverage than the generic press release.
What is your take on press releases? Do you still enjoy receiving them or do you prefer a more personable one-on-one approach?
Definitely the one on one approach. We appreciate when a pitch is directed at our publication – knowing the individual who sent it has a knowledge and understanding of our audience and takes the time to send us edited and relevant content. Generic press releases that are sent to mass audiences are not of interest to us.
If you had to give advice to a new luxury startup on how to get featured in a prestigious luxury magazine, what would it be?
Get your brand out there – pick up the phone and call the editor you are pitching to. Let them know who you are – set a time to meet in person and show your work. Know your audience, your brand message and your PR goals. Editors appreciate hearing the story about the product and why it is significant, unique and worthy of valuable page space. Every pitch may not be a placement, but you are setting the foundation with that editor and building name recognition. That can only help the future success of your brand with that magazine.
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