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Dazed & Confused founder Jefferson Hack speaks with the Business of Fashion

Business of Fashion

Imran Amed interviews Jefferson Hack at the Sanderson in London

The Business of Fashion launched its series of talks with fashion pioneer Jefferson Hack, Editorial Director of Dazed Group, interviewed by BoF editor Imran Amed. The event took place at the very fashionable Sanderson Hotel in London – which was bustling on a Thursday evening. It was an intimate setting with a group of people from Dazed, many Business of Fashion readers and fashion press. What was nice about the group was that it was friendly and interesting – an unpretentious crowd. I met several people while we were waiting for the talk to begin, including Rachel Marie Walsh, a writer for Diane, A Shaded View on Fashion and caught up with Steve Savage from Style Savage. The event was live steamed around the world, making an intimate event global.

Jefferson Hack has been a fashion pioneer right from the beginning, and much of the talk focused on his evolution as a editor. He started his first fanzine, called Untitled, while he was a student at the London School of Printing with Rankin. He said their first milestone was the first issue of Untitled that was not stapled, and when then they had their first colour issue – it was then they went from being a fanzine to a magazine. Dazed was also one of the first magazines to use desktop publishing. Hack was also the pioneer of the biannual magazine, with the launch of Another Magazine in 2001 and Another Man in 2005. It’s not surprising that he was one of the first to go online, in 2006 with Dazed Digital, which is not just an online supplement, but a magazine in its own right. It has its own editor, its own editorial team with its own content, and it’s free!

“It’s about creating a multiplatform content that goes beyond print.” Hack went on to give an example of the synergy between Dazed & Confused and Dazed Digital. They shot Tilda Swinton for a double cover and an exclusive video was shot for Dazed Digital, and then there was a screening of Tilda Swinton’s new film for Dazed readers at the Curzon Cinema.

Business of Fashion

It was refreshing to listen to Hack talk about his readership with such respect – it always surprises me how often this is overlooked - so many people seem to focus more on their advertisers than their readers. Hack spoke about connecting to the urban writer and their focus on global youth culture (Dazed is the best selling UK fashion magazine abroad).

The audience was fortunate enough to be the first to hear about a brand new initiative that Dazed is planning: satellite blogs, using their platform but on a different site from Dazed Digital. The idea is to give a Dazed-endorsed blog to those in places like Reykjavik, Mumbia and San Palo who have something to say, and just need the readership. Once vetted by Dazed they will have complete editorial freedom!

Hack brought along his iPad, and spoke at length about how important he feels the iPad is. Dazed is creating an iPad app, which will be available in July for the August issue. His iPad was passed around the audience, and what struck me when I saw it up close was how good the photography looks!

Business of Fashion

One of the strongest points from this talk was that fashion might take its time and can come to things slowly, but Jefferson Hack is not about the status quo: “culture today is a digital stream. Either you adapt or you are a dinosaur.”

Images courtesy of Christopher Dadey.

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