Mackinley Hill Fronts Zink's Spring 2017 issue.


Zink Magazine, the indie fashion magazine founded by Sheriff Ishak in 2002, will debut its first issue on Sunday.

Constance White, a former editor in chief of Essence magazine, is spearheading Zink’s revival in print and digital since it closed last year, and she is working to fine-tune the glossy’s target reader. She told WWD that Zink, which will be revealed at Coachella, is aiming to appeal to the Millennial luxury consumer.

While White realized that appealing to ”Millennials” is a no-brainer and what every company is trying to do, she explained that there’s a subset within the group that isn’t getting much attention.

“Within this space, there’s not a lot of service for them,” White said of the particular constituent. “We wanted to capture, number one, that Zink is about generation next. It’s about the twentysomething, thirtysomething, it’s the ‘M word.’ It’s focused there, in terms of who’s defining what’s happening in our society, we wanted to focus there.”

White explained that media brands with a hefty Millennial readership tend not to focus on luxury, while magazines targeting the upscale consumer tend to be “legacy titles” whose core reader skews much older. With that idea, the editor decided to relaunch the magazine as a quarterly in print and digitally, and redesign the web site. (The new site will be completed by Sunday’s issue debut.) Zink will cost $5.99 at the newsstand; the digital edition costs $19.95 for four issues.

White declined to comment on Zink’s distribution plans, but said the team is playing with different subscription plans and business models. (She also declined to say who the investors are in Zink; however, Ishak, the founder, is now heading global licensing, and the company’s president and chief executive officer is Rachael Lewis).

In order to speak to its reader, Zink will highlight fashion, travel, art and pop culture in its pages, with strong visuals shot by established and up-and-coming photographers. That juxtaposition of establishment and newcomer is central to the new Zink.

Case in point: the double cover of the first issue, which was shot by Nigel Barker, features newcomer model Mackinley Hill, younger sister of Taylor Hill. White reveled in that pairing, recounting that Hill, 19, identified Barker from his stint as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model.”

White said that the issue will also explore visual themes that tell the story of the subject’s favorite cause/charity, as well as a portfolio dubbed “punk romance,” among others. Jean Griffin served as creative director and Agnes Cammock was the fashion director for the issue.

Acknowledging the challenges ahead, the editor, who departed Time Inc.’s Essence in 2013, said that even though the magazine industry is undergoing consolidation, there are still green shoots of growth for niche titles.

“My instinct is that — and what I see anecdotally, it seems as there is this retrenchment of bigger  and there are customers who are left wanting,” she said, comparing the consolidation in the industry to large stores closing, leaving shoppers looking for a new destination.

“Whenever there is disruption, when the present and future is cloudy, it sends signals to some people to be part of the new solution,” she said. “I certainly feel that way.”

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