The Face – Disruptive Re-Entrant
Once upon a time The Face hit you right in the solar plexus with its renegade aesthetic, poetic ferocity and creative concentric multiverses. It reboots in April — YASSS!
Fashion’s slickest, most frontline mag, The Face, is back. FUCK YEAH! The bangin’ British publication, which had a colossal impact on the eighties and naughties creative/style scenes under its extra visionary editor Nick Logan, has rebooted. Yep, under brand new ownership and artistic direction, the revamp will drop online in April and in print this September. This week it launched on social media with mad pizzazz. We’re stoked!
Its fusion of socially conscious commentary, avant-garde fashion spreads and Neville Brody’s inventive take on graphic design/fonts helped forge the mag’s fierce identity and facilitated the genesis and evolution of a new era of lifestyle glossies, including Blitz, Dazed, Details and i-D. The rag was an incubator for artistic swashbucklers and shutterbugs like Juergen Teller, Corinne Day, Nick Knight, David Sims and Inez & Vinoodh, as well as a beacon for the Buffalo collective, led by stylist Ray Petri.
But by the time Logan sold The Face to publisher Emap in 1999, it had gone into terminal decline. Notable names and media mavericks with deep pockets had replicated (hijacked and plagiarized, actually) its original aesthetic and Emap, facing an existential cash crunch, shuttered The Face in 2004, as circulation descended into a secular trickle.
The creative legacy and brand equity of The Face will prove challenging to leverage and scale up in this era of Schumpeterian creative destruction. The Face’s new managing director, Dan Flower (who launched Pop magazine with Katie Grand in 2009), called the reboot “a double-edged sword” due to the piranha-infested publishing environment and dogged digital Darwinism. But the super cool crew behind the relaunch believes The Face will be frontline as ever, attracting both old and new viewers and adding creative value by way of its kickass content and transgressive angles.
“While we are going to pay respect to its past, we want to make sure that we are pushing it forward,” said badass editor Stuart Brumfitt, the former editorial director at Amuse, a supplemental/lifestyle vertical at i-D/Vice. “It’s all about the tone of voice,” he said, arguing that The Face would bring an authentically “British sense of humor and irreverence” to a broad range of Pop culture, fashion and art.
In addition to its full-time editorial staff, The Face has amassed a cadre of talented contributors. The gung-ho gang includes No Vacancy Inn’s Tremaine Emory and Acyde, as well as designer Grace Wales Bonner, music exec Grace Ladoja, influencer and photographer Margaret Zhang and gastronomical guru Magnus Reid. But many of the magazine’s contributors will be relatively unknown quantities and underground misfits. “It would be a lot easier to bring in an ensemble of names that people are really comfortable or familiar with,” said Acyde. “One of the things that we are genuinely passionate about is finding new versions and new models of those people.”
“This is not a nostalgia trip,” Acyde added. “We want to be representative of that new way of sharing information and conversations,” he said, citing a bunch of no-name creative pioneers and a propensity for utilizing tech and hybrid methods.
We’re seriously excited! Congrats to Stuart Brumfitt (above) and Dan Flower!
Images The Face + Nick Knight
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