Since Instagram Stories debuted earlier this month, brands and publishers alike have been experimenting with how best to use the offering — and also grappling with how to treat it differently from Snapchat.

While fashion and beauty brands were quick to jump on board, the major publishers in the space have been a bit more methodical. Some were quick to provide office tours or off-the-cuff interviews with celebrities and fashion icons coming through the office, but others have opted for more strategic teaser posts that tie directly to its web and print content.

Below are examples of how major fashion publications are using Instagram Stories to share content.

Cosmopolitan is focusing on innovative ways to share on Instagram Stories beyond run-of-the-mill office posts, according to Elisa Benson, the magazine’s social media director.

“Any time a new product like this launches from a major [platform] I’m always pushing my team to do something bigger and more exciting than just a standard office tour,” Benson said.

To that effect, Cosmo is launching its first international “Cosmo Around the World” Instagram Story this week, which features 24 hours of updates from editors around the globe. According to Benson, the effort is a response to increased audience demand for travel and style tips, and serves as a way to leverage the publication’s robust global presence.

Cosmo Netherlands

Though the team is still determining its fashion week strategy, she said she looks forward to the platform’s ability to share behind the scenes looks in a way that’s different than Snapchat. She added that when Snapchat first launched the Discover platform, Cosmopolitan experienced a similar parsing of content between the two entities. “We’re always sort of thinking about the absolute best way to use each specific social network. We really want to honor the experience of what it means to tell a story on Instagram Stories,” she said.

Whereas Cosmopolitan is eschewing Instagram Stories from around the office, Allure is embracing it. Its most recent posts include editors trying Coffiest, a coffee drink made by Silicon Valley favorite, Soylent. Under the helm of its new editor Michelle Lee, Allure has continued to push the boundaries on digital, including an increased focus on social media and e-commerce.


The site’s web traffic largely comes from mobile, and platforms like Instagram are often vital drivers to the site. “Uniques and pageviews are still important metrics for us, but they’re not the only metrics,” Lee told Glossy in July.

Vogue served as a launch partner to Instagram Stories when it first debuted, and shared a series of stories from ambassadors of the magazine around the world — namely models including Lie Wen, Suki Waterhouse, Christy Turlington Burns and Cindy Crawford.

According to Sally Singer, digital creative director at, Stories will be an important method for engaging its 12 million person follower base, and will be in important platform for New York Fashion Week in its ability to share live backstage and runway content.

“Instagram Stories allows us to connect with our followers with greater depth, humor and immediacy than ever before,” Singer said. “We’ve found that it’s a great way to engage our fanbase, who is hungry for live, on-the-ground content.”

GQ has largely been using Instagram stories to tease upcoming content in print and online, according to John Lockett, GQ’s engagement editor. GQ’s most recent story, set at a backyard pig roast, was designed like a “package straight out of the magazine” and included shots of the event, tips from a chef and a cocktail tutorial, he said.

As GQ’s Instagram presence continues to evolve, Lockett said the primary focus will be on capturing more looks of behind the scenes events, and determining how to differentiate its Instagram stories from Snapchat.

“Our Snapchat strategy is to capture really ephemeral moments. On Instagram, we’re curating a feed that presents the GQ universe in a bold, visually striking way with incredible imagery,” he said. “We definitely want to translate that experience to Stories without jeopardizing quality.

Marie Claire
Marie Claire is looking to Instagram Stories to share exclusive New York Fashion Week looks from major industry icons and celebrities. The publisher is assigning each selected individual — which will include Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia and yet-to-be determined models and guest stars — a day of the week-long event to takeover the account.

“The idea is to give the reader a guided seven day tour of the full Fashion Week experience,” Jessica Pels, site director of Marie Claire, told Glossy in a previous article.

Until then, Marie Claire is sharing sneak peeks of fall fashion trends including images from previous runway shows.

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