What’s a Fashion Magazine for During a Pandemic? #BOFLive series

by - August 04, 2020

Flatlay of British Fashion Magazines

The Business of Fashion is currently running a #BOFLive series, a host of panel discussions offered virtually on Zoom during the global pandemic. In one of their latest streams, journalist Tim Blanks sat down with two members from LOVE magazine Co-Editor-in-Chief Ben Cobb and Senior Editor Pierre A. M’Pelé. The pair discussed and recounted how they put together LOVE’s two-volume book, #LOVEDiaries, chronicling the events during worldwide lockdown. 


It was a really interesting talk that covered issues on what a fashion magazines place is post-Covid-19. This is actually a similar topic to what I wrote about in my final year project on, What does it mean to be a fashion publication in 2020? The essay looked at the historical context of fashion magazines purpose was when it originally came out to the purpose of it now. It mainly touched upon the structural elements and revenue streams that magazines need to adapt to in order to continue to be successful. 


Whereas I had looked at the structural elements, the conversation was more diverted to the content of a fashion magazine. The role of a fashion magazine is a documentation of current life. It is often referred to as a "mirror or our time" filled with current trends in fashion and what’s happening in the world. If you think about it, a fashion magazine can be used as a piece of history.


In the latest volume of LOVE Diaries, there is 600 pages of photography and essays summarising "the four months of choas, emotional extremes and fleeting moments of hope". This also includes the Black Lives Matter movement and worldwide protests that ignited with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, United States. 


LOVE diaries vol 1
LOVE Diaries Vol 1 Cover shot by Sama Kai (@official_kaicapture) | Credit thelovemagazine.co.uk

Tim Blanks asked a great question of, “What is fashion going forward?”


Ben Cobb: Fashion has always been more about the clothes and accessories, that’s the store front…The culture, the time, politics, the conversations going on; that’s always driven and been wired into it. I think it’s almost like the behind-the-scenes part has moved to the front right now. It’s about humanity. Pierre and I were talking earlier about this book we’ve created is really about humanity. It’s about humans and how they connect together and all their stories. That’s always been there in the fashion conversation.


Pierre A. M’Pelé: I feel like we’re looking further than the clothing and we’re really trying to install meaning and purpose into what we wear and why we wear them and how those clothes can reflect the world we live in. Even looking at Sama Kai’s cover, it just says it all because obviously it’s clothing and fashion and that young man Marley looks fashionable but there is so much more behind it. It even makes me think of the black panther and the style. 


What do you think Fashion is going forward?

Love, Aoife xo


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