The fashion industry has and continues to pride itself on innovation and tireless evolution. So much of what fashion stands for is well intended: beauty, imagination, and determination to move forward.
The aughties (2000-2009) saw the rise of numerous fashion-inspired television shows and movies, from Sex and the City to Project Runway. At least one thing became very clear: fashion, along with technology, claimed center-stage. As we begin to define the next decade, we can all be assured that there are some very large, perhaps uncontrollable, forces at play.
For one, there is a growing, undeniable sense of democracy in fashion. The days of exclusivity and elitism are fast fading. We can no longer deny the power of participation and connectivity. And if that seems like a stretch, then stay tuned – entities like Facebook and Twitter are only the beginning.
Of course, nearly every major fashion-related brand has jumped on the social media bandwagon. To be absent in social media these days is something akin to brand suicide. With that said, VIRGINE is jumping into the fast lane, face-first into the future.
The magazine’s Creator and Editor-in-Chief Ryan Yoon has big ideas for the brand, not least of which includes the development of a collaborative social media network. “To make a long story short, I really wanted to make a platform for up-and-comers. I want VIRGINE to be a bridge for new-comers”, says Yoon. “VIRGINE is about what people want, not just what the fashion industry thinks people want.”
Truth be told, the equation of fashion is not as one-sided as it seems. Just as fashion works from the top down, so too does it work from the bottom up. In other words, trends are created in both directions. Acknowledging that truth is at the top of VIRGINE’s list. “The bigger picture for the VIRGINE brand is to inspire change.”
Of course, one needn’t turn too many pages in the premier issue of VIRGINE to get a glimpse of that ‘bigger’ picture. The brand’s editorial philosophy shines through from beginning to end, especially in Yoon’s featured photo-story, All You Can Get.
So often, we flip through fashion magazines and it’s the rare publication that shows its reader something worth stopping for – something arresting. To put it simply, that is the best way to describe All You Can Get.
Compositionally, each image is unique, exemplifying a certain attention to cleanliness and complexity. The positive-negative space relationships and the graphical structures that fill each picture space are consistent, yet the spread is not redundant, nor is it formulaic.
The unexpected translation of familiar objects and commercial products like Diet Coke and Tide into a fashion context is crafty and clever. More importantly, the boldness and ingenuity brings the spectator back to the publication’s sexy title – a title that stands for freshness and imagination.
“The spread took five months, numerous collaborators and endless planning and coordination, but we did it,” says Yoon. “We dreamed big, and we made it happen. We want our readers and collaborators to feel the same way. No fear.”
Indeed, the spread is quite the dream come true. It establishes a estimable standard of vision and collaboration, not only for VIRGINE, but for all visual artists. And if there’s one thing to walk away with, readers can be sure that there will be much more imagination to come in future issues. ”We are going to keep pushing the quality and the cross-collaborations,” says Yoon. ”We’re prepared to work even harder.”