There was, for a while, some debate in fashion magazine circles about whether there was a future for POP under Zhukova. Emails circulated and a lot was written about this classic case of is this move mighty stupid in the real world. Overexcited Katie Grand fans contemptuously predicted a crash and ran the argument that Zhukova doesn’t have the fashion credentials and strength to take on the responsibilities of editor-in-chief, a general impression which was repeated on numerous occasions across the web. She was being damned even before she inherited the job and bets were placed. I hadn’t planned to buy a copy when it came out in London but suddenly remembered that one of my favourite bloggers, the charismatic Elizabeth from White Lightning (who excels at the art of beautifully modulated mockery), was involved. My local newsagent has become very discerning in knowing what I like to read over the years and had kept a copy for me as soon as it came out (she’s commercially inspired too and often tries to sell me other titles that have been presented to her as fashion led like the slightly erotic men’s magazine Jacques)! After Nila’s lovely and enthusiastic sales pitch and having caught a glimpse of the delicately caressed red infused photographs of Mark Borthwick I bought POP. Instead of the usual clichéd strategy Zhukova and her team have embraced a multicultural approach combining with exquisite precision some of the most interesting names in the world of fashion, art, design and talented bloggers. The various elements interact brilliantly and the final result is of extremely high quality. You certainly can’t accuse Zhukova of not having done an excellent job. The evidence is a succession of wonderful fashion editorials by Viviane Sassen, Sean & Seng, Paolo Roversi, Mark Borthwick and Jason Evans, a Manuela Pavesi booklet created by M/M, a genuinely interesting Ed Ruscha interview and a great homage to J. G. Ballard among other imaginative pieces.
The POP/Zhukova association has produced an unequivocally beautiful, fresh and different issue.
All pictures courtesy of Sean & Seng for POP