5 posts tagged "WSJ."
In the latest issue of WSJ. magazine, Style.com/Print star Rick Owens gives Lynn Yaeger a tour of his unorthodox home on Paris’ Place du Palais Bourbon. Having lain empty for twenty years before Owens and wife, Michèle Lamy, moved in, in 2004, the building, which doubles as an atelier, is the former French Socialist Party headquarters. An embodiment of the rough-hewn looks he sends down the runway, Owens’ abode is quintessentially Rick, complete with raw concrete floors, a wall fresco by his step-daughter Scarlett Rouge, a few pieces from his own furniture line, and a black boom box, which was a gift from Cher. When asked about his interior-design philosophy, Owens replied, “How do we make all things around us beautiful? Every switch plate, every sneaker, I want all the everyday stuff to be great. I would like a rock-crystal toilet!”
The goings and comings at T were covered with the obsessive tabloid attention usually reserved for politicians’ love affairs and Real Housewives. But the dust has settled and a new team is in place at the magazine: editor in chief Deborah Needleman and creative director Patrick Li, who helmed WSJ. magazine together before making the leap to the Times. Their debut issue of the magazine is on stands this Sunday. Before the launch, Li—who has also worked with Jason Wu, Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Alexander Wang through his own firm, Li Inc.—sat down with Style.com to talk logos, photos, and what’s to come.
Congratulations on the launch issue. Obviously it’s the product of an enormous amount of work.
And this doesn’t represent the complete—Deborah’s complete—vision. I mean, there’s much more to come. We wanted a very pointed reset, in a way. [Now] it’s a very elegant and restrained look at the system and look at the fashion world.
Starting with the “T” itself. What’s the response been to that?
The response has been generally favorable. I’ve been talking to a lot of people in my immediate design world, and, honestly, there it’s been slightly mixed. You know, “Why did you change?” And then after I explain why, it’s like it becomes clearer.
Part of that must be that it’s a sacred cow.
Well, it’s a sacred cow that’s, you know, seven years old, right? But after the success of launching T as a magazine…the newspaper has really adopted the gothic “T” as a symbol of the paper. It’s not the same logo as the old “T,” but no one else is really going to notice that. So there was confusion out there in the world—like, What’s the paper and what’s the magazine? And there are very strategic plans for the magazine to grow into a fuller, bigger, self-sustaining initiative. It, of course, gets its power from the Times, but it needs its own identity, so Deborah was very adamant about having the logo represent something more forward-looking. It’s very sans serif—a more streamlined look—and then we brought over certain aspects…[that are like] the old “T.” So there are similarities, or shared common points, but obviously it’s manifested itself in a totally different way, which we’re thrilled with. And it’s evolving and changing as we speak. It’s a slow reveal, but you’ll see different iterations of the logo going forward.
So you’re starting on the most minute level. How does that kind of ground-up redesign express itself throughout the magazine?
The content is imbued with the same qualities, and the look, I guess, comes from a response to the content. And like this issue, it’s very restrained. [But] I have this expression that I’m trying to fight the tyranny of good taste. I feel like we need to have some sort of transgressive moments to make it more relevant or have this, like, vibration between something very understandably beautiful and something a bit more uncomfortable.
One of my favorite things [was] developing a typeface, and actually, first of all, being at a place where they understand the importance of that. When I first got here, I was like, “Can we do a font that’s unique to T?” And they said yes and didn’t have any resistance to it at all—which I was surprised about. Continue Reading “Li on T: The New Creative Director Speaks” »
In a year full of industry shake-ups, WSJ. magazine’s announcement earlier this week that it had hired Magnus Berger as its new creative director was just the latest bit of news to chew on. The co-founder, along with business partner Tenzin Wild, of The Last Magazine and of the creative agency Berger & Wild, Berger brings a decidedly “emerging” sensibility to a publication that’s often seen as catering to the seasoned reader. But as Berger tells it, nothing in today’s world of fashion media is quite that simple.
At Berger & Wild’s Houston Street headquarters—above Serge Becker’s hip restaurant, Miss Lily’s—the Swedish multitasker spoke with Style.com about The Last Magazine, the dissolving boundaries between uptown and downtown, and the future of WSJ.
Some people out there seem surprised that WSJ tapped you. Was it unexpected for you?
The offer was unexpected, but to me, it made sense. WSJ. is not a defined fashion title—it’s really positioning itself for style and luxury. And I have never seen The Last Magazine as a fashion magazine, although we’ve always had big models on the cover and launched [new issues] during New York fashion week. It’s a very different demographic, but content-wise they’re actually quite similar.
The simplistic storyline here is that an uptown luxury magazine is going for a downtown vibe.
I mean, Wall Street is more “downtown” than Soho and Lower East Side. [Laughs.] I don’t know what that really means anymore, to be honest. Look at Art Basel, in Miami—it’s downtown and uptown coming together for a few days. A lot of the younger designers, like Altuzarra, for example, are very downtown and uptown at the same time. And this news about Alexander Wang going to Balenciaga—he’s young, but super successful, and now he’s taking over for one of the most talented designers of the last 15 years at a super credible old house.
I was a little surprised to see you described as “edgy” in one of the news items.
Yeah, I don’t know where that’s coming from. If you look closely at The Last Magazine, it’s not crazy design-wise or content-wise. It’s quite straightforward. But maybe in the outside world, they’re sort of just grouping things together because it’s easier, the same way we might do with anything that’s going on above 14th Street. For us it’s more about what we put in the magazine. I’ve always been attracted to magazines that are run with a clear vision—Purple, Self Service, Fantastic Man, Gentlewoman, Visionaire.
That scrappy world of smaller magazines seems more communal than it is up at the top of the food chain. I mean, T and WSJ. are always depicted as being engaged in this battle royale.
I don’t know that it’s a real rivalry, but people talk about it that way.
It’s like with movies—it’s not just about whether they’re good or bad, or even what they’re about; it’s who won at the box office. And now you see this intense interest in the games of musical chairs being played in the fashion world, not only with designers but with editors and people like yourself.
Yeah, the whole “She left Vogue and she went to this, and now she went from this world to the newspaper world.” Obviously when it comes to The Times and The Wall Street Journal, the readership is just gigantic in comparison to a lot of these other titles, which is why I think it’s become an issue for the fashion world, where you fight for advertisers.
Weren’t magazines supposed to be on the way out?
Our first issue of The Last Magazine came out in 2008. The name was a bit of a joke, but I honestly thought it might actually be the last one. It’s not always a huge commercial vehicle. It’s a platform for us, with a lot of freedom, and hopefully one that also attracts people for commercial projects. Rather than go and chase clients, we say: “This is who we are, come to us and we can work together.”
Part of your experience with Last must be watching these people whose talent you supported early on go on and become established.
I wouldn’t say establishment, I think that’s a little exaggerated, but there are certainly people in that group that are very successful—both in terms of contributors and people we feature in the magazine, like Carey Mulligan. I believe we were the first U.S. magazine to feature her. And we had Alexander Skarsgård and Lykke Li very early, and a lot of our photographers.
I imagine the wrangling will be a little different at WSJ.
We had my first editorial meeting on Monday. When you’re talking about the people you want to put on the cover or the actors you want to feature, for us at The Last Magazine it would be, “Oh no, but she already did a few movies. She’s too established.” And up there it’s almost like, “What are you talking about? She hasn’t even been Oscar- nominated!” So there’s a huge difference there. But the more people I meet there the more I see we can talk about the same things.
What have they told you about your role?
I met Kristina [O'Neill] first and then I met with Robert Thomson. I’m very excited to work with Kristina and it was a very immediate connection, but at first I was trying to figure out, like, “OK, what is it that you want?” And Robert especially was like, “We’re not here to tell you what to do. We’ve seen your magazine, love it, and just want you to do what you do best.” I think it’s about your channels also—who can you get? I certainly have access to people WSJ. wouldn’t have access to, or who would be more hesitant about doing something with them if I wasn’t there. That’s my perception, at least.
What kind of people do you think you’ll be bringing in?
Obviously I can’t give you any names, but I think if Last is all about the younger and the new, I want to sort of take the top end of that slice and extend it upward. Tenzin and I had a huge conversation about this. We’re established now, and the most natural thing is obviously to just go with it and evolve as they evolve. And then 30 years later Last Magazine is the same generation as when we started. I think that’s more natural than trying to be 25 years old when you’re 65. That might work for some people, but it’s not the way to go for us.
Is Proenza getting a new parent? Rumor has it Theory president Andrew Rosen—who, in addition to controlling Theory and Helmut Lang, has invested in Rag & Bone, Alice + Olivia and Gryphon—is mulling a stake in the New York label. Pemira, which owns 45% of the business is looking to sell its share; designers Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernadez, and CEO Shirley Cook will keep their 55%. [WWD]
It’s battle of the newspaper glossies this weekend when the first Sally Singer-edited issue of T and the first Deborah Needleman-edited issue of WSJ. hit stands. A hundred lucky people got a sneak preview today, though: T put 100 copies near their offices on 40th Street, which, according to Twitter, were gone within 2 hours. [@themoment]
Is Diddy elbowing in on Kanye territory? The rapper is certainly courting the fashion world at the moment: His next album, Last Train to Paris, features spoken-word cameos from Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Tommy Hilfiger, and André Leon Talley. [Huffington Post]
And Natalia Vodianova (left) must have had her Jock Jams blasting lately. The gorgeous model has been repping her home country of Russia on two separate athletic fronts lately: As the official Ambassador of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, and as part of a delegation to secure the 2018 World Cup for Russia. [Modelinia]