Carl Barnett, editor of Fashionisto, bravely moves into the world of print. With a steadfast following of loyal Fashionistos, he feels that there is still a strong desire for the devout fashion community to have something physical to hold and collect. Fashionisto magazine is a menswear focused book that will release quarterly. The premiere issue launched at the end of February 2011, and is complete with a Dior Homme focused fashion story, a Fall 2011 Fashion preview and a slew of respected industry contributors.
What motivated you to launch Fashionisto as a print magazine when thefashionisto.coms online content does so well?
Having editorials online is great because you get to see a selection of what creatives are producing world-wide, but it’s always nice to have something tangible and a project that can be conceptual. Also, at the end of the day, I find that people love that feeling of being able to hold their work in their own two hands.
What is your vision for the magazine?
I want the magazine to be a body of work that can be gushed over and inspiring. I want beautiful photography, models captured to their best attributes and above all, a representation of labels, large and small that just make you want to go out and buy the clothes, or better yet try something different with your wardrobe in terms of style.
Let our audience in on some things about you that they wouldn’t know otherwise.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m not 40. For some reason, people always think I’m older because of the way I write, but no, not the case. I’m 24 and I’m currently the only one who updates the website.
Who is your target audience?
Definitely my current fashionisto.com readers I find it exciting to gauge their interest and then make work with them in mind. Also, the photographers, stylists, models, etc. would have to factor in. It’s such a thrill to work with so many wonderful creative people on a daily basis, bonding over that love for this fantasy world of stories and great clothes.
What are your favorite print publications in existence?
I absolutely adore 10 Men. It’s very visual and the clothes always look great.
If you had to bring a print magazine back from the grave which one would you resurrect?
I would bring back Mixte. They always had great stories.
When did you launch thefashionisto.com?
It feels like so long ago, but it was only the end of 2008.
How did you choose Jacques Naude to be your first cover subject?
I’m not going to lie, I currently have an obsession with models with long hair, but at the same time, I wanted a model with a classic face, a great body of work and an individual who could be the Dior Homme man, while still offering a new element you don’t see on the runway or in campaign images. There’s something about Jacques that brought a little romance to the clothes and that complemented with Kris Van Assche’s penchant for a little refinement alongside a couple of raw edges it seemed like the perfect marriage.
Did you intentionally style him in Dior Homme for the cover? Or was it the image that most called out to you, come editing time?
The entire story features Dior Homme. I wanted a concept that was simple, yet had a lot of movement. I also wanted it to be clear this is a fashion magazine. I feel that all these great clothes and the boys that wear them well are so fundamentally connected and important to each other that I wanted to show this with the magazine’s general approach to being focused around the editorial, hence the theme of Editorial Beginnings for the first issue.
Will you have a staff or will you work with a group of core contributors to create the stories?
Right now, its just an intimate project where ideas can be brainstormed and materialized, but after a couple of issues, there are definite plans to bring more people on board as regulars to create more stories and features.
How long have you been in the fashion industry?
I actually have a BA in history, but initially I wanted to go to school for journalism, so I guess I found my way back in some regards. I just love the idea of having one place, where you can see the latest work from Mariano Vivanco or Jon Kortajarena or Prada, etc. in one place.
Are you based in L.A. or New York?
I am from California, but moved to New York at the beginning of the year to be closer to all the labels, agencies, etc. Fashion has always interested me and it only made sense to take a more hands-on approach.
Who are your favorite male models and who do you think are the new faces with the most promise?
I like all the models I post. It’s hard to write about them if you don’t. I may have upset a couple of people in the past by subscribing to this philosophy, but you cannot please everyone. It’s a really exciting time right now for new models, a lot of promising faces and my personal favorites in terms of models I want to work with changes frequently, but today, I really cannot wait to see more from Jack Manhood (FM Models). I’ve also been won over by the insane duo that is Malthe Lund Madsen and Victor Nylander (Ford Europe). Also, cannot forget Bo Develius with Nisch. Seriously, there are just so many, I could be here all day!
How important is Twitter to your brand?
Twitter is another way to get people’s work out there, share early previews and ask people for their opinion. It’s also a great way to network with other creatives. I love it!
How will you use your site to cross promote the print magazine?
I’ll be posting behind the scenes and previews, but eventually everything will be on the site. I want it documented and shared with as many people as possible.
I know that the magazine is quarterly as it begins to roll out. Is your hope to create a monthly in the future?
I think a monthly would be too stressful and some creativity would be lost along the way, so that’s not on the books, but I do have other magazines in the work. Next up is a magazine that will be released in volumes, chronicling the site exclusives people have done, beginning with this year. Photographers have just been shooting so many amazing stories for the site, that I want that quality to be translated into beautiful printed images.
Are you approaching advertisers or does the magazine have more of a book/keepsake feel?
Some people griped about the price, but the first issue is free of advertising. For the beginning, I wanted the freedom for everyone involved to do what they do best without the stress of appealing to a certain advertiser or aesthetic. Moving forward, advertising will likely play in, but it will be geared towards brands and companies that are fashion-grounded and of quality.
Which designers inspire you?
Personally, I’ve always been inspired by Ann Demeulemeester. She has this amazing knack for maintaining a consistent aesthetic but bringing something new to it each season in subtleties. It’s a little dark, slightly romantic, outside the norm but very wearable. It has a poise and grace.