STILL MIXING: Independent French fashion magazine Mixte is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the slogan “Liberté, Egalité, Mixité” (or freedom, equality and diversity, in French) splashed across Paris in its first wild postering campaign.
“When we started, [our name meant] androgyny. Now it’s about showing how diverse creation is. What we’ve always wanted to do was speak to people who loved fashion, without segmenting them [in any way],” said editorial director Christian Ravera, who cofounded the magazine with Tiziana Humler-Ravera, Mixte’s publisher and editorial director, and creative director Guy Guglieri. The trio met at Condé Nast in the 1980s.
Mixte made its debut in November 1996 as a fall supplement to the French edition of men’s magazine Max, then published by Hachette-Rizzoli — the magazine went independent in 2009.
Babeth Djian served as its first fashion editor, and on the inaugural cover, the late British model Stella Tennant and a young male model were photographed by David Sims, sporting similar short bobs, pinstripe jackets and graphic shirts by Jean Paul Gaultier.
From its inception the publication aimed to break away from traditional divisions into women’s and men’s fashion. But although it was born at a moment when Calvin Klein was launching the unisex CK One perfume and coed runways abounded, “advertisers kept asking us if our readership was male or female for a long time,” said Humler-Ravera, an industry veteran who worked as a publisher for major international press groups such as Condé Nast and Mondadori, where she contributed to the launch of Grazia.
Another boundary that had to go was the division between new talents and old hats, added Humler-Ravera. Over the years, contributors included Emmanuelle Alt, Olivier Zahm and Loïc Prigent — all before they became household names. Photographers such as Jean-Paul Goude, Paolo Roversi, Liz Collins and Ellen von Unwerth captured the likes of Björk, Milla Jovovich and Naomi Campbell.
The magazine even masterminded a 2017 conversation between Karl Lagerfeld and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, then on his first mission aboard the International Space Station.
Instead of a tribute to their quarter-century existence, the fall 2021 anniversary issue focuses on “those who will make the coming 25 years,” according to the founders, including designers Noir Kei Ninomiya and Arturo Obegero; as well as Violette Serrat, the YouTube makeup star who goes by her first name professionally and recently became Guerlain’s creative director of makeup.
The founding trio is also proud of this anniversary for another reason: print lives on.
The magazine, which came out last week in France and is being sent out to its international retailers, was printed in a run of 80,000 copies, up from the usual 60,000. “People keep saying that paper is going to die, but physical publications have never been more beautiful or plentiful. Proof that print is an incredible memory tool — if you have something to say,” Ravera said.