“It’s time for a magazine to have well-executed visuals to counterbalance the culture of point-and-shoot "...“Quality needs to be put into magazines today, otherwise there will be no reason for magazines to exist.”
Fabien Baron in WWD on the new Interview
Juxtapositioned against this quote by design master Fabien Baron was the headline in the Friday 8 2008 edition of WWD that "Magazine Circulation Falls In Half", asserting that magazines as far ranging as Vouge (-14.8 %) to Shape (-10%) were seeing plunging newstand sales. Implicit in Baron's statement was the idea that it was lavish printing, a generous scale and "blue-chip" content that was going to allow the new Interview to differentiate itself from a clogged field.
Or in Interview's creative team's words in WWD, "It comes back to the idea that there have always been certain titles that people have collected, not just use a magazine for a month and then throw out, but have actually kept,” said Bollen. “We thought about Interview as one of those magazines.”
All this reminded me of a conversation I once had with a young Conde Nast editor. "Magazine people make magazines for other magazine people," he had said dismissively as he saw me leafing through an issue of Fantastic Man.
True, there is an informed, cultured, sophisticated, literate , college educated audience with a highly disposable income that religously visits Nobu, hops on a friend's yacht to Mykos and haunts all the good art fairs, recession or not. They will die and go to heaven while reading Joseph Kosuth's interview with Martin Margiela in Interview's new issue.
But what disappoints this reader,(as much as I might aspire to all the above) is how reactionary mainstream publications still insist on being when faced with the rapid fire changes of our new digital media culture. Instead of factoring in the interests and tastes of that new audience, it reverses direction and embeds itself deeper into the distant legacy of Brodovitch.
The same units of cool, Kate, Mert n Marcus, Stefano Pilati, Karl Templer, Inez and Vinnodh, Craig McDean... etc, keep migrating back and forth, back and forth between ID and French Vogue, Self Service and Pop, Interview and V perpetuating a dialogue of redundant imagery with nothing peculiar and nothing personal to ground you in the specific magazine you are reading.
A part of that problem tends from the understandable fact that those units of cool are what advertisers ( that dwindling community ) want as insurance for their investment in the pages. But the great hope is that some shrewd young editor will realize that the culture of point and shoot has a vast market potential for that body of talent that will learn to grade it up to blue chip level.
Abstract words yes, but all of a sudden the cleverness of all those Meisel/Vogue Italia Paparazzi/ Rehab/Reality TV star shoots strikes home all the more.
In a digital age staying connected is everything, much as that proposition is exhausting. It is the thing I loved most about Warhol. From silkscreens to Polaroids to an MTV show , the brilliantly executed, insidiously designed point and shoot moment was his specific genius no?