April 5, 2012

The Issue: Becky Smith, Twin Magazine

Twin magazine is quite possibly my favourite magazine. It's hard to articulate why exactly, but for starters it has a cloth-bound hard cover that makes it super collectable, gives it a vintage feel and protects its precious cargo - a smart selection of well-written features on the coolest creative people, beautiful and striking images...

Becky Smith, the founder and editor, (formerly of Lula, Voguei-D and Harper's Bazaar) is as smart and cool as her magazine - read on below.

How did Twin come into being?
I was tired with my last magazine... so wanted to start afresh with a new look and team. Halfway through 2009 I started to gather the all-girl team to make the ideas in my head a reality. In a few short, busy months, by November 2009, we had it done... and we’ve not stopped since.

Who is it for?

Everyone - old and young male and female... straight, bi, gay, trans, whatever...

What do you think people like best about it?

I hear a mix of these three: the photography  (Cass Bird to Ben Weller), the intellectual reads (contributions from Miranda July and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy) and the beautiful art (from Ryan McGinley to Taryn Simon).

Your covers are different – mono-colour, cloth-bound, hardcover and up until the new issue, free of images… What was the intention behind that? And any specific reason why this one has a pic?

Yes it’s anti design - I’m very anti the old fashioned advertising and selling/cover lines. So this was rebelling against all that. With the most recent issue we shot Agyness Deyn, and because the magazine normally comes sealed I felt I had to give some kind of little taster of what was inside. However, I kept it really discreet by indenting the photograph - like an actual polaroid - onto the cover. We still say nothing coverline wise and let the logo (my handwriting) and image do all the work.

What were your favourite pages in the current issue?

The piece on Marsha Rowe, a lady that inspired me because of her great work for Spare Rib magazine in the 60’s. It was also great to get a good northern girl like Agyness and have an interview rather than just seeing the model one dimensionally.

What else is the Twin Factory up to at the moment?

We did a great event with Nike at their new store opening 1948, which had Kate Tempest doing spoken word poetry with an orchestra. More recently we did a great event during fashion week which Olivier Theyskens hosted and was incredibly sucessful... We've also started some smaller more cultural evenings where we have a mix of performance, poetry and art discussion - kind of a snippets of the best of ‘live’ bits from the magazine, where Twin gets to actually ‘speak’. We are planning something in Tokyo next...

What are your favourite magazines?
I mainly collect vintage magazines but have an eclectic mix. I have a huge collection of old Vogues, Harper's Bazaar, Jackie, Frank, Playboy, Eros, Oz, Spare Rib, New Yorker, Dandy and Beano! I have hundreds of books. I prefer books to magazines: books transcend better.

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