In an age where print titles are sadly closing and digital propositions continue to grow, it’s rare to hear about a new magazine launch. But if a brand can find its niche, and has a unique contribution to make, there’s an audience that’s still hungry to hold that print offering in between their fingers.
We recently came across new fashion publication, jane. By The Grey Attic, a biannual fashion publication shot entirely on film and printed on paper. The magazine explores fashion, art, photography, and poetry—it’s a slow art movement, launched by founders, creative directors, and editors-in-chief Dean Bell and Annika Hein.
It’s the type of publication you hold onto for years to come, and dip back into time and time again. To celebrate its launch, we asked Annika Hein over email our most pressing questions. Keep scrolling!
Who What Wear Australia: How long as this project been in the works?
Annika Hein: Subconsciously, since I was about eight. In reality, our first serious conversation about jane. was around October 2015, when we confirmed the name. For about two months after that, we were working towards the slightly disillusioned goal of releasing the first issue on 1 March 2016. At that point the concept of jane. was still a somewhat impulsive idea mapped out as a very broad, very bare sketch. A ghost of what we wanted it to be. We had the ideas and the brand philosophy but we had no design team, no confirmed contributors, no printing samples, and no processes. We had shot only one editorial and the rest was really just these big creative ideas and concepts that hadn’t been broken down into directives or execution strategies. So after one of many panic-inflicted timeline conversations, we moved the launch date to 1 September 2016. We spent the beginning of 2016 working purely on processes and building the team and didn’t really start on the detailed creative concepting until June 2016. As it happened we still didn’t make our September deadline, but being first time publishers, creating a first issue, we were really learning on the job with our team as we went. We always maintained that the calibre of content we wished to produce shouldn’t be pushed through just to meet a deadline that we were ultimately in control of. Obviously now that the first issue has launched and we have much stronger foundations to work from, future issues will be produced to stringent and diligent deadlines, but issue one was really a huge learning process for us and for most of those involved.
WWW: What made you decide to launch a print offering in a tough market?
AH: It’s something we’re asked quite regularly, but it was really the only option for us and for what we wanted jane. to be. Everything moves so fast with digital. We’ve been given this unrestricted access to content and information that is theoretically unlimited, which of course at first presents itself as alluring, fascinating, and convenient. We can search and scroll and ‘engage’ and ‘interact’ and be ‘inspired’, anywhere at anytime, it’s fantastic. But then you get tired. It might not happen right away, or even at all for some people, but at some point you realise why those quotation marks were intentionally placed around the words engage and interact and inspired. As creatives, we were exhausted. We wanted to be a part of a movement that was in some way responsible for slowing things down. For connecting the notions of fashion and art and time. A movement that would allow people to once again consume art indulgently and more importantly, allow those creating the art to do so authentically with artistic merit and integrity. No matter how digital we become, there’s something very different about print. It’s a sensory experience. So jane. isn’t a rejection of digital, but more about accepting the different roles, and acknowledging the fact that now more than ever there is a monumental need for print publishing and slow art movements.
WWW: What makes jane. different?
AH: The vision and concept that Dean and I have created and cultivated to form jane’s identity. A revert back to slower processes that nurture and encourage the slow creation and consumption of art, something that celebrates undone beauty, effortlessness, authenticity, timelessness and unconventional thinking. The element of film and our preference to analogue processes also provides something different in today’s digital market.
Every element and every detail of the first issue, and of the jane. brand as a whole, has been meticulously and carefully considered by Dean and myself to ensure the integrity of this vision and to enhance the strength of jane’s identity. We want jane. to be more than a magazine. We’re shaping and cultivating it to be a slow art movement, something that goes beyond the pages and champions an overarching change in artistic and creative consumption and creation.