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INTERVIEWS, MEN'S / June 18 2010 2:52 PM

INTERVIEWS: James Mills Of Style Noir

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INTERVIEWS: James Mills Of Style NoirI’ve done a lot of searching for the coolest blogs and online shops out there..so when I found Stylenoir, a UK site with edgy shoots, a sleek design, and some awesome interviews (anyone who supports DirtyFlaws I’m a fan of), I had to do a write up. I began speaking with James more about the site and asking for advice of my own, and I found him to be quite the genius of the internet, among other things.

Check out these questions I had for him!

FASHIONINDIE: How did you start StyleNoir? Being that your background is in music, when did fashion become your primary interest?

JAMES: In my mind, there is no difference in my goals whatever industry I’m in. The bottom line is that I want to inspire and motivate people to achieve what they have only dreamed of before. Taking that into account, all industries are governed by the same four parts, the seller, the buyer, the product, the producer. So in reality there really is no difference between the industries. I suppose if I am honest, the music industry rejected the changes it was going through and tried to ignore them, we used to sit in the studio and brain-storm every day on how we could revolutionise things, then one day I was talking to one of the guys from Sony and asked the million dollar question, what are they doing to beat the problem? The answer was just to pump more money into their biggest band at the time. To me that was the biggest lack of imagination I’d ever heard, I didn’t want to be in a pond where the biggest fish couldn’t take the courage to leap to the sea. A decade later and they still haven’t figured it out. The giant of the fashion industry knows how to adapt, I saw companies embracing change and taking risks and I wanted in.

FASHIONINDIE: What were you doing before StyleNoir was born? Ever work any horrible jobs?

JAMES: Since I was very young, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak. Whether it was selling the latest craze in the school-yard, or dare I use the word, hustling, I knew that I wanted to do things by myself. I had a horrible and admittedly, embarrassing job at a grocery store when I was a kid. So when I was 14, I started out with t-shirts, within the 12 months it was producing £10,000 a year. At that point I knew I was capable and I didn’t look back.

FASHIONINDIE: Sometimes you cover some pretty sensitive subjects (Fashion Indie’s own pro/against Tavi’s blog comment argument, cats as fashion accessories), does this ever get you any hate, and does that bother you?

JAMES: I never started this for popularity. I couldn’t care less if you love or hate me, I find it hard to not speak my mind and maybe that is a failing of mine. But seriously, if a blog states “blogs are disposable” that sets alarm bells off in my head, that seems strange to me, something has to be said. I keep thinking that our time period is one that seems to be losing that desire for pioneering and advancement, so at Stylenoir we want to make people think, whether they agree or disagree is far from the point. The point is to make people think for themselves, come up with their own opinions and standing. Hopefully inspiring people to make a difference while they have the time.

FASHIONINDIE: Where do you come up with the ideas for your original pieces?

JAMES: I suppose it’s not so much where but how, and that how is listening. It’s astonishing how much you can pick up if you really pay attention to what is going on around you. It’s almost like producing music, you listen to what your audience is asking for, create that hook that will draw people in and run with it, putting your own passion into the final creation.

FASHIONINDIE: How do you choose which spreads you feature on the site each month?

JAMES: We look for the artists which inspire us the most, if it really blows us away, then we will feature it. It doesn’t matter who it is. Creativity, the message it is portraying and the meaning behind it are main factors. This is why Elias Wessel is one of our highly featured photographers, some how he takes this outstanding imagination he has and puts it in still images. It really is incredible, I truly believe if you could look into his mind, it would be nothing less than becoming a real life Alice in Wonderland.

INTERVIEWS: James Mills Of Style Noir

FASHIONINDIE: What do you plan on doing next with the site? Any plans to expand StyleNoir.TV?

JAMES: We just launched a complete re-design of the site which is all very exciting. We wanted to create a more interesting experience for our readers so we added interactivity, with a great Facebook comment system, as they say participation is power! Stylenoir.TV is soon to become Stylenoir Films, we hope to produce some hard hitting documentaries in the near future, but you will just have to wait and see, I can’t give everything away, where would the fun be in that?

FASHIONINDIE: Any advice for hopeful journalists?

JAMES: Work, hard, and do what you love. Seriously, in 2010 there is no reason to do anything you hate. But you need to work, if you want the fancy parties and the exclusive interviews you need to put in the effort. Get your iPhone and your laptop and hit emails, social networking, cold call, I don’t care. It might sound aggressive, but there really is no better advice that to just DO. I run into people all the time ready to discuss at length their plans in media or journalism but the simple fact is planning is good, getting results is better.

Check out Stylenoir, one of the coolest sites on the web (and they’re from the UK which is +1 for me!) and follow them, and James on Twitter!

LINK LOVE: Hillary Bankz

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GIRLS, INTERVIEWS / February 9 2010 7:28 PM

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION: David Alexander

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INTERVIEWS OF FASHION: David Alexander

A friend referred me to David Alexander’s site, and on viewing his collections I fell in love with the fur, leather, mesh, studs, jewels, and all of my favorite things compiled into one fashion show. Once I began to speak with David, I found his quirky, enthusiastic and overly creative personality absolutely thrilling, and had to share it with you.

Here’s a little anecdote that got me hooked on David straight away:

So my friend Susan calls me and says ” your gonna be so mad at me.” and as I put down my Playstation controller and jogged over to my computer I see this email and I’m like…..who is that, and she goes “Well I dunno, but she is prolly never gonna buy another skirt from you or Curve again..” and Im like omg omg did i fudge up and the skirt zipper was broke because I do pride myself on an 100% usa made quality product…”She goes well I saw her in the skirt and I freaked out and ran over and I was lil drunk and I sort of shook her cause I was in the gold one and was like OMG OMG my friend made these arent they great”….So basically if you buy my clothes in NY and a crazy beautiful woman runs over to you its my friend Susan haha I cant be mad she is just all about my designs and gives me so much support.

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION: David Alexander

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION: David Alexander

I was also lucky enough to hear from David on a few questions that I asked:

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GIRLS, MEN'S, ODDITIES / September 1 2009 10:00 AM

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAG: Jeremy Fall, Editor-In-Chief Of Cliché Magazine

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THE MAN BEHIND THE MAG: Jeremy Fall, Editor In Chief Of Cliché Magazine

(photos by Kris Kidd)

Four months ago a bunch of my favorite people to follow on Twitter were filling up my feed with news of a new magazine.  ‘Check out  @clichemagazine!’ so I did. I headed over to the site and saw the clean format of their first issue with Cody Kennedy on the cover, and started e-flipping through to pages, reading articles, and seeing photos from some of my favorite photographers.  From then on, I became a huge fan of Cliché, an online magazine based out of California that publishes monthly, and features spreads and content that you aren’t going to find anywhere else on the web, or at any store, for that matter.  I continued to check back monthly to see Brittany Flickinger on the cover, and an entirely green issue, all complete with great feature stories, interviews, street style photos, and spreads from the Cliché staff; but then I realized: outside of the photographers I already follow, I have no idea who is behind this magazine.

Naturally, I scoured the internet to figure things out and found the editor-in-chief’s name, Jeremy Fall, and I made one of those emails to a general address to try and get ahold of Jeremy in order to figure out just what goes on behind the scenes at Cliché.  After long chains of emails and iChat conversations, Jeremy and I have grown to be great friends (I’ve even heard him talk on the phone in French…it’s actually his first language), and I’ve learn that Cliché is definitely a magazine that is here to stay, and here to join Fashion Indie’s digital revolution by creating the ‘print is dead’ campaign.

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAG: Jeremy Fall, Editor In Chief Of Cliché Magazine

See what Jeremy had to say on the start and growth of Cliché, and why the internet is way better than Condé Nast:

FASHIONINDIE: Where were you at before Cliché?

JEREMY FALL: Before starting Cliché, I had an event production & artist management agency in LA called Mad City Entertainment. I started with that when I was sixteen, and we mainly produced all ages events in clubs around the city and represented artists from around the world. I also organized private events on the side ranging from fashion shows to corporate events to birthdays.

FI: Once you got the idea (and how did that even happen?), where did you go next?

JF: No one ever believes me when I answer this question, but I got the idea for Cliché at 5 AM when I couldn’t sleep. I suddenly felt the need to take on another project and always thought that there weren’t many magazines out there that take a completely different approach to their themes. I was looking through a few issues the other day at Barnes & Noble and found one with an “up and coming talent” theme. The issue consisted of 100 little biographies of people that no one has ever heard of, and it just seemed like the creators were crossing their fingers that at least one person of their choice would someday blow up and give them credibility. As for Cliché, I’m not saying that we don’t go for up and coming talent, I think that’s great, we just prefer showing different things in our issues. For example, in our July rising stars issue, we also showed a merging city, growing hotels, different types of designers, etc.. Sorry I might be getting a little off topic, to answer your second question, once I had the idea for the mag I immediately started looking for photographers and writers over the Internet and through people that I knew. This was probably the hardest part and I admit that I didn’t have any experience in creating magazines. It took about a month to completely assemble our team and then we started creating issues. The name was an easy pick for me, with my French heritage (where the é comes from), but also because I promised myself the magazine would be anything BUT a Cliché…meaning, the only thing Cliché about it would be the name (ha ha ha).

FI: Is this something you always wanted to do?

JF: Being the editor-in-chief of a magazine was something that I had never thought of doing. I’ve always had a passion for management and when everything started coming together, I fell in love with the idea.

FI: Did you anticipate it would grow so quickly?

JF: A lot of people ask me that too actually, and honestly I really didn’t expect this at all. I’m so grateful for all of our readers and the attention that Cliché’s been getting. I had projected around 100,000 readers monthly by January 2010 thinking that I was crazy for aiming so high, and we’re at over 600,000 monthly now. I definitely think that it’s not done growing yet and that there are still many improvements to be made.

FI: Where do you plan to take Cliché, assuming it continues to grow exponentially in viewers?

JF: I never say never but I really don’t think that we’ll ever become a printed magazine. In 10 years, glossy magazines will be considered luxurious items and everyone else will have theirs available online. The way technology’s growing right now, it would be surprising if the Internet didn’t take over printed publications, but you can never know, that’s just my opinion.

FI: Do you think you’ll ever switch to a daily update format, or just stick with the monthly issue?

JF: Actually, we’re in the process of integrating a blog called Kitsch on our site to give a more “frequent update format”. This should be out soon and we really want to give our fans a more personal feel and interaction with who’s behind the mag. The goal right now is to make it daily, we’re just figuring out if that’s going to start right away. As far as the issues, those will remain monthly.

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAG: Jeremy Fall, Editor In Chief Of Cliché Magazine

FI: We love you for it, but why jump on the ‘print is dead’ bandwagon? And why did you decide to turn your magazine entirely ‘green’?

JF: (laughs) The “print is dead” bandwagon, like I said earlier, is something that’s really growing exponentially. I honestly don’t see what the point of printing is aside from making it “look pretty”. I mean, I do agree on the fact that holding a mag in your hands on the plane or at the dentist is a nice feeling (when its a good publication) but in the end, the result is the same as when it’s online. In a few years from now, you won’t remember how nice it was to flip the pages, but how interesting an article was. Whether you read it online or on paper, you retain information the same way. Sometimes it is scary to see how technology is quickly taking over, but we also can’t live in the past when new mediums are being developed everyday. If you still don’t agree with me, take a look at how blogs have grown and how you mostly read the news online now, or how you’re sending e-mail more than paper letters, or how you text instead of sending notes (for high schoolers), or how you’re reading this interview on Fashion Indie. The list goes on and on and on.

FI: How do you decide on a theme for each month?

JF: Honestly this might really sound cliche but I really get inspired from anything that happens around me! I know that everyone always says that but its seriously true in my case. I don’t sit in a field pondering for hours but themes come to me at random times throughout the day. Usually it starts when I’m reminded of a topic that interests me a lot and then I develop it from there and find a way to turn it into an issue. It can get hard sometimes, but I try to think ahead.

FI: Tell us a bit about the rest of your staff, you’ve got some younger talent working for you, do you think young people are taking over the industry?

JF: Our staff for the most part is pretty young. I definitely think that we are taking over the industry and feel like the generations to come will start even younger.

FI: Who have been some of your favorite people to work with?

JF: I truly think that every single person I work with strongly contributes to the mag. Now, I’m not just saying this because they’re going to be reading this interview, but honestly everyone has helped a lot. Its actually really cool because the team that you see now was built really quickly, most people have been around since day one.

One of the best additions to our crew was definitely Dirk Mai (www.dirkmai.com), one of our main photographers. He’s an amazing artist and one of the best people to work with. You’ll find his work throughout every single issue that we’ve done so far and I honestly believe that Cliché wouldn’t be what it is today without his contribution.

FI: What has been your favorite part about this experience?

JF: My favorite part about this experience is seeing the number of readers grow and communicating and being able to directly communicate with them. I do as much as I can to be in contact with our fans and love hearing feedback, that’s really the only way to get better.

FI: What are some of your favorite magazines?

JF: I actually didn’t read many magazines before starting mine. If I had to pick one to read for the rest of my life, it’d have to be Vanity Fair. The reason being that it’s probably the most intelligent mag available in the US and the photography you find is truly amazing. I also read Nylon monthly and open GQ when I stumble upon it.

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAG: Jeremy Fall, Editor In Chief Of Cliché Magazine

FI: If Condé Nast offered to print Cliché, but you had to give them full ownership of it and would only collect royalties, would you?

JF: I would never do that, it would completely negate everything I just said in this interview, and make me look like an idiot.

FI:  You’ve got 1 hour until stores close and $500 dollars to spend, where do you head first?

JF: I’d probably head to a restaurant first to eat, and then with whatever I have left head to Alexander McQueen (my favorite designer).

FI: Any secrets you can give away?

JF: I can’t really say anything except for the fact that we’re going to be getting better and better. We have our new site launching very soon, created by my wonderful web designer Michael Gramling (http://www.thevintageskeleton.com), new amazing writers and photographers. You’ll have to take a look to see what I mean.  I’m also working on building my own social networking platform outside of the magazine, so keep a look out for that, too.

And that’s what you should do!  Check out the new issue of Cliché that is out TODAY on their site, see the new webisode on Cliché TV, and follow them, and Jeremy Fall on Twitter to keep updated on their world takeover(I smell a blog coming soon??!).

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FASHION / June 19 2009 9:24 AM

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION Antonio Picardi

Edited by

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION Antonio Picardi
INTERVIEWS OF FASHION Antonio Picardi

Best Sartorial advice from your parents?
Do wear a jacket at dinner.

Style icons?
My Grandfather. His style was classic and sartorial, a jacket or suit for every occasion or time of the day. He had a passion for horses, sporty cars and holidays on French Riviera or the Italian and Greek Islands (and he was often taking me with him).

Describe your personal style…
Smart-casual, traditional tailoring.

Favorite designers?
Dries Van Noten, Prada, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, Thom Browne, CCP

Most cherished item?
Supreme skate-decks.

I feel best wearing?
A crisp poplin shirt, trousers with creases and a blazer with surgeon’s cuffs.

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist’s outfit…
Sharpness and comfort. Then the lapel, shoulder, back and cuff.

I never break this fashion rule…
Wear it with a rebel touch.

Never caught wearing?
A tie!

Dress to impress who?
The lady next door.

Shine your own shoes?
I wish, is a skill that only professionals have!

Your next “must have” purchase?
Supreme x Nike SB Bruin

Favorite item of clothing?
At the moment a Dries trench coat and my 30th navy-blue blazer.

How do you balance the suiting and skate wear in your wardrobe?
I like to mix skate wear with my more formal outfits to break-up the lines and add a touch of “me” to my more formal style. It takes me back to my childhood, and all of the youth-movements that were a part of it.

Most stylish city?
London.

When I was high school I wore?
The same style as Umberto I, king of Italy. I had to wear a uniform blazer, trousers with tape down the side of the leg, a fully buttoned shirt and a cape. My hair was cropped in the back and longer in the front.

Sports?
Pilates, horseback riding, polo and tennis.

Favorite vacation spot?
Where sand is white, sky is blue, water is green and the fish come to you ready to be cooked on a grill. Anywhere in the Mediterranean area, also the little islands in South of Italy.

Favorite neighborhood restaurant?
My kitchen.

Favorite cocktail?
Gin and Tonic, 2 ice cubes and a lime wedge.

Interview by Tracy Rosenbaum

INTERVIEWS OF FASHION Antonio Picardi

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