Gone are the days when websites consist of mindless, viral listicles. Today, websites like Refinery29 have shown that online is a budding platform for serious editorials, and reading them is as rich as browsing a matte indie mag. Just look at their first (Un)Cover story with Anne Hathaway.
The Intern star fronts the site’s newest section, a multimedia feature series that has “a fresh, fun, creatively boundary-pushing look at women who inspire us, who have something smart and vital to say about life, art, love, feminism, politics, sports, astrology, pets, you name it,” says R29 editor in chief Christene Barberich. More or less, it’s a string of stories that provides the same depth as the traditional cover feature, only varying in how dynamic the layout can be.
While print has the upper hand in providing a three-dimensional experience, websites utilize digital tools like GIFs and vibrant typography to deliver content that’s both pretty and compelling. No more page limits here, too, finally!
Shot by Guy Aroch, Anne sports ’70s fashion and a bold red lip. The story details the Oscar winner’s downtime thoughts, which includes outing herself as a Miley Cyrus fan, recommending the best place to get a bikini wax, and defining cool in this still-sexist generation.
The virtual cover story is trending. Other websites have also realized the need to have a face to represent its brand and content, one that print publications have been doing for years. Heck, even Yahoo! did it earlier and put a spin to it, starting with cover star Mindy Kaling.
Competition has never been this tough. But if this means leaving readers more reading choices (and more creative ways to consume celebrity-related content), we’re glad this is happening.