Getting Connected With Jefferson Hack
AnOther Fashion Book, a greatest hits compilation of the fashion photography that has been featured in AnOther Magazine and AnOther Man over the past eight years, makes its stateside debut today—and we have Karl Lagerfeld to thank for it. Well, not entirely. “It was actually Karl who came up with the idea of doing a book,” explains AnOther founder and editor in chief Jefferson Hack, who edited the collection. “I was at the atelier in Rue Cambon, and he said to me, you know, you have this amazing archive, you should compile something that can be available and accessible to people as a resource. And,” Hack adds, “he said he’d publish it.” Needless to say, that was a pitch Hack was eager to run with. The first in a series of three book to be published by Lagerfeld’s imprint 7L and distributed via Steidl, AnOther Fashion Book features work by photographers such as Terry Richardson, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti, and Nick Knight. A book of portraits from the magazines will follow this fall, and a collection of AnOther and AnOther Man interviews will round out the trilogy next year. Here, Hack talks to Style.com about stripping out, slowing down, hanging Kate Moss, and dancing.
One of the things that intrigues me about this book is that you’ve let the images stand on their own. There’s no layout, no dates, no captions—no suggestion, really, that they were ever published in a magazine.
That was one of the first decisions we made when we began working on the book—to strip the magazine element out. This isn’t a book about AnOther Magazine. It’s a book about photography, and we wanted it to feel timeless. So we’ve taken the most stirring images and laid them out simply and created a running order that’s non-chronological, nonlinear. And not even entire spreads, often—just selections. My hope is that people who have never seen a copy of AnOther will come to this book and find it compelling.
Let’s backtrack. You launched Dazed & Confused in 1992, with
Rankin. That’s a magazine people consider pretty seminal. What made you decide to launch (ahem) another one?
Well, by the time we launched AnOther Magazine, in 2001, the team I was working with at Dazed had gotten too big. There was an older generation at the magazine that was pretty ensconced, and a younger generation coming through, and they had fairly different approaches. And it began to feel like one publication just did not have room for all those ideas. Beyond that, AnOther was kind of a reaction to the incredible speeding up of information. I wanted to slow things down, and as an editor, work on something that felt more…collectible. Classic. And where, rather than always skimming along the surface of the culture, I could zoom in.
For one thing, we’re a biannual, so we can be more considered. But I think, ultimately, AnOther is a magazine about connectedness—and I use that word in a very specific way. Our readers’ love of fashion shouldn’t exclude an interest in the world around them. We’re engaged in how fashion connects to art and design, and to literature and social issues. The smart, long-lasting media that I’m trying to create, I see it as an antidote to all those magazines that exist to celebrate the good times. That’s a superficial high.
Back to the book: Are there photos included here that you see as particularly expressive of the magazine’s sense of engagement?
There’s that Craig McDean shot of Kate [Moss] hanging off the back of the Hollywood sign. It really looks like she got up there herself, whereas in reality we had to go to the top of that hill and climb down with ropes—we were lowered down like mountaineers. And then she climbed up and hung off the back of the O, in this long McQueen dress. The dress is kind of metallic, but it’s shredded, too, and to me, that image works as a symbol of a shredded optimism. A shredding of values. The Iraq war had just started when we ran that photo, and the Patriot Act was going through, and there was that whole ramping up of Bush’s, you know, anti-democratic leadership. We were referencing those events in more direct ways in the rest of the magazine—in interviews and so on—but we also echoed it in some of the fashion imagery. And so for me, you know, that image encapsulates that moment. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. People can accept that reading, or they can look at that shot and just think, oh, that’s a really cool picture of Kate.
I’m sure you’re reluctant to play favorites, but are there any other photos in this book that stand out for you?
I love the Nick Knight spread that opens the book, with the dancers. Michael Clark, who is this amazing choreographer, a real modern dance pioneer, he did a performance for an AnOther event in Paris that was just mind-blowing. Afterwards, Katy England, who was our fashion director at the time, she suggested to Michael that they create a performance for a fashion shoot. What makes that story special is that the following season Alexander McQueen worked with Michael Dark to choreograph his show. Like, the actual choreography of the catwalk—it was based on They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? It’s always nice to throw some influence back at fashion.
Are there images from the magazine that didn’t make it into the book that you wish you could have included?
No, Karl gave us as much space as we wanted. If we were to do another fashion book in the future, there are photographers we’ve only recently begun working with who I would definitely include. Hedi Slimane, for example—I think he’s really coming into his own as a photographer. And others, too. Once again, there’s a younger generation coming through.