The art and culture publication, which was founded by Dasha Zhukova, the wife of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is the latest print magazine purchase by Vice in recent years. It bought fashion glossy I-D in 2012, and will likely follow a similar model of expanding Garage’s video and overall digital presence as it had for I-D.
Vice said editor in chief Zhukova would continue in her role, adding that the glossy will grow its editorial teams, with offices based in New York and London, and roll out further international teams launching local editions.
“Vice Media continues to develop innovative formats to deliver stories of culture, sociological trends, and investigative journalism to a massive readership,” said Zhukova, who founded the magazine in 2011. “Through Garage’s partnership with Vice, we hope to broaden the lens through which our audiences are exposed to art, architecture fashion and design.”
Garage, which is published twice a year, has a circulation of about 90,000. Named after Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, which Zhukova established in 2008, the magazine focuses on culture, fashion and contemporary art.
The magazine has featured contributions from art and fashion world luminaries, including Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Nick Knight, Marc Jacobs, Richard Prince, John Baldessari, Inez & Vinoodh and Patrick Demarchelier.
“Dasha and the Garage team have created an amazing product that melds the worlds of publishing and technology with art, design and fashion to create something totally unique,” offered Vice Media’s global executive creative director Tom Punch. “Garage will bring an arsenal of creative ideas and people to Vice so we are thrilled to help Dasha grow Garage’s digital presence and bring their ideas and collaborations to new audiences around the globe.”
Although the bimonthly magazine has a relatively small readership, it has been able to trade off the influence of its founder with innovative collaborations. Case in point: For its launch issue, Garage commissioned John Baldessari, Raymond Pettibon, Paul McCarthy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Dinos Chapman and Dr. Lakra to create tattoo designs — each of which were permanently inked onto willing participants and photographed by Hedi Slimane. Garage has also included a scratch and sniff feature with five celebrated perfumers, who created scents in response to five renowned artworks.
That kind of thinking is evocative of Vice’s brand of storytelling. Not only will the partnership provide Vice with an entry to the art world, but it will also allow it to continue its international expansion. Recently, the Brooklyn-headquartered media firm struck a slew of deals to grow its television channel, Viceland. They included partnerships to infiltrate markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The headlining deal was with The Times of India Group for market entry across digital, mobile and TV. In March, Vice unveiled growth plans in Eastern Europe, and hinted it would expand in Russia by the end of the year.