Meet the conservative duo challenging Vogue with The Conservateur mag
Flip through a typical fashion magazine today, and you’ll find headlines like “Why I’m Cheating on My Husband” or “I Planned an Orgy with My Best Friend. It was the Most Liberating Experience of My Life” and even “Is Having a Baby in 2021 Pure Environmental Vandalism?” But a huge swathe of young women in this country, many of whom consider themselves conservative, find this woke, hyper-sexualized approach to the world a big turn off.
Isabelle Redfield, 23, and Jayme Franklin, 24, decided to do something about it.
Two years ago, the fashionable San Francisco natives launched The Conservateur, an alternative platform for women who feel left out by mainstream glossy style bibles. Their site, which offers stories under verticals like “Style,” “Beauty,” “Politics” and “Faith,” has so far amassed more than 30,000 followers on Instagram. With its glamorous photos and sleek design, The Conservateur is a stark contrast to most conservative websites, which are usually tricked out in camouflage and aimed at men.
“There are so many conservative women who are just not represented by the likes of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour. People are rejecting it, and they’re coming to us,” Redfield said.
“Our main components are faith, freedom, family and friends. We’re concentrating on uplifting young women. We want to be builders, not wreckers.”
The Conservateur presents its stories in the same punchy and provocative style as Cosmopolitan, but with headlines you’ll never see in a fashion mag, such as “Abortion Empowers the ‘Patriarchy’,” “Sex Is No Longer Sacred,” and “Shopping on the #BidenBudget.”
“The Abolition of Women,” a story that argues against the current notion that gender is a concept and states that “women are not men, and men are not women,” would set fire to the hairstyles of the collective Condé Nast workforce.
The idea for the site first came about in the summer of 2020. The duo had just graduated from college (Franklin from Berkeley; Redfield from Southern Methodist University) and were rooming together and interning in Washington, DC (Franklin at the Senate; Redfield at the White House).
“We were both fashionable girls, but we couldn’t read Vogue anymore,” Redfield said. “Everything was just going so left, and we were so turned off by it. We thought their content was really toxic and negative for young women, and we just recognized that conservative women really needed an outlet more than ever. So we ditched our [magazine] subscriptions and got to writing.”
The founders said their site primarily attracts college-aged girls — plus a lot of interested mothers — mostly from Dallas, New York and DC, who are craving a refuge from the woke fashion world along with some smart political commentary. Redfield said her Instagram inbox is filled with thousands of messages from fans who believe in their mission.
Since its launch, The Conservateur staff has grown to a core team of four, plus 15 contributors. Redfield and Franklin said they are flooded with hoards of applications from college-aged women who want to contribute, too. “We can’t even keep up with the applications,” Redfield said. “It’s unbelievable. They’re all fantastic girls.”
As they look towards the future, Redfield and Franklin, both still living in DC and employed by Laura Ingraham and Fox News respectively, would like to make their project a full-time career and branch out into different mediums like podcasting. They’re also continuing a lucrative business selling their hot-pink Make America Hot Again hat, which Lara Trump recently modeled. And they’re planning to post profiles on influential women in the conservative movement, such as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who might run for president in 2024.
Redfield is bullish about their prospects, declaring: “We believe we’re the new frontier of the conservative movement.”
Rikki Schlott is a 22-year-old student, journalist and activist.
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