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Garment - your editorial wardrobe

Marking the tenth anniversary of Amfi’s annual independent fashion magazine – this year titled GARMENT – your editorial wardrobe – is an exhibition at Foam, the photography museum in Amsterdam.

By Gabrielle Kennedy /asdf 17-07-2013

Ten years ago when Frank Jurgen started the magazine course at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute people were sceptical.  “Especially my old colleagues from commercial publishing,” he says.  “The said you can not make a magazine with students. I am glad to have proved them wrong.”

Jurgen’s background was with Sanoma, the Netherlands’ largest magazine publishing house.  “There I started to see how many of these magazines work like a factory and have little to do with creativity,” he says.   “I wanted to show students how to fix that because I really believe that even though print is dying, a good magazine is still the number one communication tool for the fashion industry.  It just needs new concepts.”

Four years in, the programme was switched to a full six month minor and given the name Independent Fashion Magazines.  “I committed to making ten editions and then said I’d re-evaluate,” Jurgen says.  “And now we are here and I still see so much potential so I’m happy to make it another ten.”

The concept for GARMENT is to tackle one garment each issue and for the launch edition it was the skirt.  Each article and photoshoot delves into gorgeous details about fabric, cut and production.  There is also an excellent interactive iPad edition that takes readers on a delightful trip through skirt history.

The question Jurgen is asked most often is which edition has been his favourite.  “I really liked MINT,” he admits.  “It was ahead of the trends with all the illustration, but it always depends on the group and every year there is a different strength whether it be for the iPad edition, the marketing or the editorial.  The challenge for me is working with what the students have and finding the best industry collaborators to fill the holes.”

Sales of the magazine cover the costs with an average print run of 4000 and 125 to 150 points of sale around the world.  There is a strong focus on social media, an iPad version, related products and a team working on the marketing.  “It is entirely student lead,” says Jurgen.

This year a special photo exhibition to celebrate the magazine’s 10th anniversary is being presented in Foam, Amsterdam’s photography museum.  It is as a fringe event of the special exhibition "Edward Steichen - In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years 1923-1937”. All ten editions of the AMFI magazine are being exhibited, along with a film that documents its history.

“I think good magazines are going to be alright,” Jurgen concludes.  “As long as you are doing something that can not be easily recreated online.  And there will always be a demand for people who can think editorially, which I think easily justifies another ten years of this magazine.”

Images: small from top Frank Jurgen in a skirt at the 10 year celebration. 2nd image by Team Peter Stitger, 3rd by Fleur Bult, 4th by Lotte Bruning and 5th by Lotte van Raalte.

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