April 2015 Issue 7 – The Empire Issue

April 2015 Issue 7 – The Empire Issue

April 2015 Issue 7 – The Empire Issue

I recently watched a YouTube clip of Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, discuss the difference nowadays between a magazine and a platform on social media. Many believe the two worlds to be nearing enough to become the same commodity however the difference Coles states, is that when you are on Instagram, you choose your sources via who you follow therefore you restrict what you can possibly learn. The physical act of turning a page on a magazine on the other hand, a collection of thoughts put together by creatives? It is as if you have walked into a bookshop, you do not know what you may stumble across. But what would be the bridge? An online magazine which produces features and content one has no idea of what is nearing but can still choose what to click on? It’s a good thing you’re at the right place then.

However, what we want to question next is who is giving you that information whatever you are immersing yourself into and who is in control; as whoever is in control of culture is in control of its people. Welcome to The Empire Issue.

One may be wondering whilst sitting at home half in your pyjamas, with Netflix on in the background why a fashion, art and culture magazine wants to discuss censorship when we are in the exact realm as the big bad boys who do the same on a larger scale. The difference? We are part of this new rise: The Independents. That does not necessarily make us niche but it makes us remain chiefly with our initial idea when XXY started: to create content for young people, agender in mind, on ideas we are told we do not care enough about thus breaking social boundaries. Consequently making us ask, who put those boundaries in place in the industry? The creative industry may be up to scratch on trends but it still encompasses some old fashioned ways.

Without getting off on the wrong foot, this issue is not about hating the big players as we all use their products and want to be on their echelon one day whether we admit it or not; but it is about questioning how these large forces became their size. We are not judging their work ethic, but asking in this issue- do you really have to give into the man to be successful? One would be a fool to state the industry we work in is based on talent alone as it is ultimately, a business. Just as we learnt from Gitte Jonsdatter, the Co-founder and Director of MUUSE, in our discussion panel in collaboration with the Marangoni School of Fashion last year, “Creativity is only the mask of fashion” yet do we have to become more commercial, lose our edge slightly to sell more? Our contributor, Tara Parmer explores whether if one’s art is not censored if it is a success whilst on the contrary Valentina Egoavil shall be looking at fashion families, the power of those who control the faces we know like the back of our hands. In addition to this, we examine an Empire’s right hand- one which transcends into our generation best: influence.

Influence and power may go together just as well as Cookie and leopard print, when we live in a bubble of transatlantic clicking where anyone with a hashtag could be our next idol but are these newcomers truly the new Brat Pack? Furthermore, what happens when you are a group of established musicians who want to “give back to the artist” via charging more for another streaming service. Are we really the benefactors of Tidal?

I also read earlier this month that if one listens to ‘the man’ enough you will eventually believe it. We do not plan on becoming the man, but an amplifier for questions no one asked when Empires were being built. Who’s ruling now?


Tahmina Begum

Co Editor-in-Chief

Illustrations courtesy of Aase Hopstock

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