Condé Nast Vogue House Selects Flexible, Reliable and Stylish HID Solution


Known as the world's most famous fashion magazine since its launch in 1909, Vogue is published by the internationally renowned Condé Nast publishing house. Widely acknowledged as having started “lifestyle magazines” (the now common marketing strategy focusing magazines on specific interests), Condé Nast publishes a number of large-circulation magazines focused on epicurean pursuits: fashion, food and wine, architecture, travel and other interests. As one of the first British publishers on the internet, Condé Nast has gone from strength to strength by adding other well known titles such as GQ, Vanity Fair, Easy Living and many more.

Vogue House, one of Condé Nast’s flagship London publishing office properties, is not only a place of employment and creativity for hundreds of staff, it also hosts media personalities and famous models, all requiring a level of security equal to their celebrity. So, when the company needed a new security solution to support its 600-700 employees and visitors, it turned to HID Global for its access control system.

In use for almost a decade, Vogue House’s existing access control system—a simple Kelly keypad system secured by pin code—had generally become dated and left Vogue vulnerable to security attacks. The company recorded an increased number of concerns inside its offices because the pin codes had not been kept confidential over the years. Additionally, a new-found need to identify people within Vogue House at all times had recently arisen.

To replace their existing system, Vogue House’s building manager, Mick Booth, began looking for a solution that incorporated the use of smart cards and photo IDs. “Vogue is about making a statement and every floor within Vogue House has a different flair, look and feel. They wanted not just the latest and most secure access control system, but also needed stylish, appealing and sexy readers. I needed to find a solution that was both reliable and in-line with the publisher’s stylish image,” said Mick Booth.

Flexible, Reliable and Aesthetically Pleasing

As Vogue House’s security solutions provider for almost 15 years, Davenheath Security tends to Vogue’s every security need. Based on their longstanding relationship, Davenheath Security was consulted to help Vogue find an access control system that was right for them. Alan Dadley, Davenheath Security’s Vogue representative, knew his client needed a flexible, reliable and aesthetically pleasing solution. The publisher’s requirements also called for smart cards, to make the solution upgradeable for future applications. “For this project, style is of the essence,” said Alan Dadley.

Based on Vogue’s requirements, one of the three solutions Davenheath Security proposed included HID’s iCLASS® R40 readers and iCLASS 16k/16 contactless smart cards. Due to its stylish design and known reliability, the R40 reader was chosen by Vogue House. Vogue embarked on a three-month trial of Grosvenor’s Janus system, using HID readers and cards, to ensure the system was right for them. HID was able to provide readers for Vogue’s test phase and after three successful months, Vogue House users were satisfied with the capabilities and functionality of the new system. The decision was made to install the R40-based system throughout the landmark building.

HID iCLASS R40 readers fit the installation footprint of the old Kelly readers perfectly, and offered Vogue an aesthetically pleasing and functional reader solution. To accompany the readers, more than 1,000 iCLASS 16k/16 contactless smart cards and 100 iCLASS keyfobs were purchased from Bannerbridge Plc.

To avoid workflow interruption at Vogue House, the new system was installed floor-by-floor, then extended to Vogue’s car park. Initially, due to metal plates near the reader mount in the car park, the R40 did not offer the desired read range. With assistance and advice from HID and Davenheath Security’s creative installation techniques, the problem was overcome and the R40 readers achieved optimum read range. In total, 32 R40 readers were installed over a nine-month period and are now in use at Vogue House.

For the in-house customisation of iCLASS cards, Davenheath Security also recommended Fargo Printers. Two Fargo Direct-to-Card printers were purchased from Bannerbridge Plc, one of Fargo’s UK distributors, enabling Vogue to customise photo ID cards for staff and visitors.

Mick Booth commented, “Vogue is very happy with the new solution that is now installed. The readers and cards are very reliable and fit in with the surroundings at Vogue.”

“It was important to give Vogue not only a high quality and stylish solution, but one that is managed by them. Using HID and Fargo products, the new system has given Vogue the flexibility to manage and enrol cards in-house. We manage the hardware for them, but they manage the software side on their own,” said Alan Dadley from Davenheath Security.

Due to the success of this installation, the publisher is looking to follow the Vogue House installation with continued use of HID products at other Condé Nast sites.