Supporters of StyleZeitgeist magazine — who, on Thursday night, happened to be an all-black wearing, leather-clad crew, but that’s beside the point — flocked to the West Side for the celebratory launch of its second issue at men’s wear store Atelier New York.
The biannual fashion and culture magazine aims to explore the ways in which fashion interacts with other creative disciplines, according to its creative director, Eugene Rabkin, who also started the Internet forum bearing the same name five years ago.
“There is an audience out there that has a deep interest in fashion that goes beyond merely shopping,” Rabkin said. “They want to know about a designer’s ethos, about a designer’s philosophy; they want to know what interests designers themselves. And I think that’s been underserved.”
The 219-page issue boasts a glimpse into the friendship between Ann Demeulemeester and P.J. Harvey; a Q&A on FIT’s Valerie Steele by senior editor Cintra Wilson; an interview with acclaimed photographer Deborah Turbeville; photographic essays by Erik Madigan Heck and Arto Puolimatka, and a fashion editorial dedicated to German artist Joseph Beuys.
Cintra Wilson, sporting yellow-tinted aviators, thumbed through the magazine frenetically. It was her first look at the finished product.
“[Eugene Rabkin and I] met after he interviewed me once, but we ended up bonding over more interesting obscura. He ended up being another critical theory wonk. He’s from Belarus, and I spent a lot of time in the Eastern Bloc when I was a tortured teenager because my parents didn’t want me,” she said, laughing.
“I mean… fashion’s always been art; it’s as much an indicator of everything going on in the zeitgeist right this second [as anything else]. It really should be alongside movie reviews and book reviews,” she continued. “And I think that strictly sexism and homophobia are the only reasons that it’s not recognized as a valid, critical medium [in this country.]”
Though Rabkin’s StyleZeitgeist forum finds its home on the Internet, he has a different vision for the publication, which he oversees with managing editor Daniel Franco.
“We wanted to do something that can’t be easily replicated on the Internet,” said Rabkin. “So many fashion magazines are geared for short-attention spans, and I get complaints from people that they want to read the content [online].”
“And I say, ‘Well, no. You have to buy the magazine.’”