Marie-Amélie Sauvé


It’s not every day that a new magazine launch gets a fashion week party and private dinner at the Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, but Mastermind isn’t exactly the average glossy.

Conceived by Marie-Amélie Sauvé, who serves as creative and editorial director, the biannual culture-focused magazine hit select retail locations in Paris, London, Milan, Los Angeles and Tokyo last week. Sauvé, who tapped a slew of her fashion and culture contacts for the inaugural issue, held court at Bookmarc in the West Village Saturday night to toast the new issue. (It doesn’t hurt that Sauvé also works as the fashion director for T: The New York Times Style Magazine and a consultant for Louis Vuitton.)

“It was really difficult to find a title [for the magazine]. In the beginning, I was inspired by Nova, a magazine from the Seventies,” she said. “It was really well designed…and there were a lot of great photographers [shooting for it].”

Like Nova, Mastermind has its share of celebrity lensmen, including Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Stephen Shore, to name a few. It also includes stories on Nicolas Ghesquière (clearly her Vuitton connection helped there), an interview with Isabelle Huppert and a series on Xavier Dolan, the French Canadian director of “I Killed My Mother” and “Tom at the Farm.” The French political journalist Anne Sinclair, the ex-wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, contributed a piece on President Trump.

“I had to really look for a title. I thought it could start with my initials, M.S.,” she said.”I wanted to invite masters in their field [to contribute].”

When asked if the title Mastermind posed any conflict in Japan where Mastermind is a denim brand, Sauvé said she “didn’t know that brand.” (WWD reached out to the magazine’s Japan team and a rep said the title didn’t register the trademark there so there isn’t an issue with infringement.)

She continued that in today’s digital world, she finds that readers are looking for more collectible publications that are less about “news” but more about “thinking.”

In fact, the speed of digital has changed her own print reading habits, she admitted.

“The magazines I read less are monthly magazines. By the time you read a monthly magazine, it’s already old,” she said. “The pictures aren’t as timeless.”

Of course, there will also be a digital version of Mastermind, but Sauvé is mulling what the expression of a biannual magazine will look like online.

Mastermind, which will come out in February and September, is published by Le Magazine Général, a division of the advertising agency Havas. And a biannual, “thinking” magazine does not come cheap — each issue costs $50. Or you could buy two books on Amazon.

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