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April 20 2014

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i-D Ups Its Online Game

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i-D

Last week, i-D rolled out its eye-popping new Web site, i-d.co. Having launched with a collaborative M.I.A. x Kenzo music video, the iconic magazine’s new online home will offer full-bleed imagery, quirky videos starring personalities such as Rick Owens, Lily McMenamy, Sky Ferreira, and more, and, soon, an interactive social-media component. The Web venture, which was feted at a veritable runway rave in New York last night, is a decidedly high-tech move for the publication, which, founded by Terry Jones in 1980, earned cult status because of its gritty fanzine approach to documenting London’s creative culture. Of course, it also helped that, early in their careers, photographers such as Nick Knight, Mario Testino, and Juergen Teller shot for the publication, and Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and even Madonna winked for its covers in their youth.

The site is thanks in part to Vice—the forward-thinking, in-your-face, Brooklyn-based media company that acquired i-D last December. “Vice’s whole push was to take i-D into the digital realm, which it wasn’t. We had a Web site, but it’s nothing like what we have now,” offered i-D editor Holly Shackleton. “Vice has been incredibly respectful. They haven’t been involved in our editorial choices,” she added. “They’ve just given us the digital know-how and business sense to start something new and launch the site.” More developments are on the horizon. i-D will soon open an office here in New York, and Jones, who’s been with the publication for the past thirty-three years, will take a notable step back. “He’ll always be on the masthead as founder,” offered Shackleton, stressing that while he’ll still be somewhat involved, he’s looking to spend more time with his family.

The Web site’s launch party in West Chelsea was a fitting display of fresh, edgy clothes and pioneering technology. In partnership with Samsung, the magazine flew over three of London’s hottest new talents—Ryan LO, Claire Barrow, and Ashley Williams (all Fashion East alums)—and had them present their collections in a holographic show. It was one-part IRL models (including Hanne Gaby Odiele), one-part virtual projections. Audience members (M.I.A. among them) could hardly tell who was real and who was simulated as the catwalkers danced amid computer-generated acid rain and floating gemstones. The crowd bounced and, at some points, fist-pumped to the EDM runway tunes. And even though partygoers were sipping champagne, the event exuded the underground cool that made i-D a force in the first place. “i-D has always been a global fashion community, and we hope the new site will encourage that,” said Shackleton. “We wanted to introduce these young British talents to a New York audience. They’re all future stars, without a doubt.”

Take a look at i-D‘s new online digs at www.i-d.vice.com.

Photo: Laura June Kirsch

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