Byline: Alice Welsh

NEW YORK--It's tough being trendy, and there's usually a price to pay. In the magazine business, that price can mean slow growth over a long period of time.
Many of New York's trendy publications operate on a shoestring, paying writers a minimal fee, sometimes close to nothing. Often the publications rely on black-and-white photography, use stylists for editorial credit only and have very lean staffs, with the editor and publisher often one and the same.
Success stories are rare, with Andy Warhol's Interview, or Annie Flanders's original Details the exceptions. Not for lack of trying.
Besides Interview, which has been around for 25 years, there are a handful of newer magazines, among them Paper, Vibe, Project X, Spin and Manhattan File, that are fighting to carve out a niche for themselves. They're all trying to fill a gap left open by fashion and general interest magazines by covering offbeat and cutting-edge fashion, art, music and up-and-coming talent, as well as politics, hot restaurants and clubs. Here, profiles of New York's trendiest.

The first of its kind, Interview celebrated its 25th anniversary in October. The magazine, which specializes in pop culture, was originally published in 1969 by artist Andy Warhol and his Factory.
"Interview was invented by Andy Warhol, who recognized the world was being changed by pop culture and that there was an audience out there that didn't want to be specialized, but wanted the best, the coolest, most influential stuff about a lot--movies, fashion, music and politics," said Ingrid Sischy, the current editor in chief.
Interview's circulation is 150,000 to 160,000 with about 100,000 of that in subscriptions, according to Sandra Brant, publisher. College readers have been a strong source of recent growth, said Brant.
"Our ad categories are a real mix and reflect the spirit of the magazine," Brant added. "Fashion is a great category and music is also strong." Other top classifications are movies, liquor, cigarettes and art galleries. Fashion advertising pages were up 27.8 percent from July through October, said Brant.
Interview's rate for a one-time, four-color, full-page ad is $13,900.
The magazine is independently financed, and Brant also publishes Art in America and Antiques.
Observers cite Interview's editorial strength as coming from its unique mixture of people--from Robert Redford on the cover one month to singer Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers the next. The magazine tries not to focus on a particular age group. "Just because you're young doesn't make you hip. What makes people hip is the spirit of that person," said Sischy.
"Interview has really come back. They are relevant again to the twentysomething age group," said Steve Klein, partner and media director of Kirshenbaum & Bond, a New York advertising agency.
"It wasn't conscious; it just happened. It's cool on college campuses because it's edgy, a little out of the norm and this appeals to that crowd. Interview has found an audience that marketers seem to like," said Klein.

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