x Vogue Editor Starts a ‘Zine // Lets Party
Writer/photographer/editor Debra Scherer started her magazine career twenty years ago, at American Vogue at the beginning of Anna Wintour’s reign. Not a bad way to cut your teeth in the magazine business, hearing Candy Price’s stories about the 1970s New York social scene and taking points from Andre Leon Tally on the essence and values of haute couture. Then she moved to Milan to work at Italian Vogue, joining a smaller team which allowed her the room to hone her own aesthetic as a photographer, writer and creative director, under the legendary Franca Sozzani.
She decided to leave corporate journalism behind, and a year ago, she started a ‘zine. The Little Squares Paperzine, now in its third edition, represents Scherer’s return to what she believes to be pure, true and interesting about art, fashion, pop culture and music, and she’s throwing a party this Thursday in LA to celebrate the latest issue, featuring works by New York and LA artists. We caught up with her to ask a few questions about hopping from the hallowed hallways of Conde Nast to Zineland, and why she digs it.
So, what are the biggest differences between your past experience of publishing and this more grassroots endeavor?
Having been on many editorial staffs, I feel like the biggest difference would be in strategy. When a magazine is produced by a corporate parent, there is inherently a business plan. That plan acts as a blueprint for the creation of the magazine. Like saying, ok, this is what the goals are, these are the rules, this is how we do it and now let’s go and get what we need to fulfill that. Whereas with a zine, or a truly independent publication, the strategy is completely reactive. The published product is the result of eyes and ears open, completely unplanned. I think our readers get to kind of take that same wild ride with us, after the fact.
How does it feel to have autonomy over content?
It is completely nerve racking but it lets us keep evolving stories, rather than trying to squeeze them if they don’t at first seem to fit.
What is the content you are interested in creating?
I’m always looking for stories about passions and the worlds that are created around them.
What doe authenticity in publishing mean to you?
Not doing stories based on timing, rather work on creating something timeless.
Magazines are almost entirely advertiser driven, especially in fashion — how is this a good thing and how is this bad thing?
It’s good in the sense that it keeps magazines open!! It’s only bad when editorial staffs get lazy and just work off press releases and chase the same stories in the same exact way. You can cover advertisers and still be really creative.
Branded content – thoughts?
I think that all fashion editorial IS branded content. I think when editorial is at its best it’s completely fooling the reader, allowing them to “live the fantasy” as they say.
The Installation Release Party for The Little Squares – Fashion N’ Culture Paperzine Issue 3 Creative! Class! Takes place this Thursday June 4th at Church Boutique, and features a special art and film installation by The Little Squares founder Debra Scherer as well as photography by Devon Jefferson, paintings by Sarah Parker and the stylings of Buddhistpunk, Bunny Dreams and DR4BP.
7277 Santa Monica Blvd
6PM – 10 PM
Special Guest DJ’s
*If you are new to Uber use this promotional code: theUberChurchEvent to receive a free ride up to $20.00
Written by Caroline Ryder