The milestone is celebrated on the cover of the April issue, as well as on the pages within. The cover's long list of "close friends" serves a dual purpose: If you're browsing mags and you've never heard of Beth Ditto or Peaches Geldof or The Pierces or Mark the Cobrasnake, then perhaps you should take one giant step to your right and select another fashion-beauty-music title.
Of course, only those who've been shipwrecked since prior to Y2K wouldn't recognize cover girl Lindsay Lohan, her tresses highlighted and her pale belly looking eerily Photoshopped. Yet the tagline -- "A Pin-up for a New Era" -- raises more questions than it answers. The interview reveals La Lohan seems to be in a post-rehab/post-feature film/post-heterosexuality phase. Goodbye to all that at age 22. So the question now is, what exactly does Lindsay bring to NYLON by gracing the "Special Anniversary Issue" cover? In fact, that blurb about partying like it's 1999 may be more ironic than intended. As for the interview, you begin to wonder when the pull quote has her saying, "There's not much I can do about the fact that I've become a kind of tabloid obsession." Apparently not speaking about her personal life to NYLON never popped up as an alternative.
NYLON calls itself an "indie girl's fashion magazine" and page after page of waifs bears that out. This, after all, is a periodical with a regular feature dubbed "Jeans of the Month" (which doesn't celebrate -Claude Van Damme or Harlow). If ad pages are any indicator, this anniversary issue appears mean if not lean. It totals 196 pages, and while it doesn't require the forklift necessary to lift Vogue, there are still plenty of A-list advertisers. That said, the pages are chock full of those annoying subscription cards, each touting 75% off.
Yet NYLON's biggest advantage is its look. Make no mistake: The magazine has a distinctive appearance if not a distinctive voice, and the art direction is first-rate hipster. In addition, there's some quirky and entertaining stuff in these pages:
In his anniversary letter, Editor-in-Chief Marvin Scott Jarrett rightly toots NYLON's horn for not being "controlled by a huge corporation." Fair enough. But what exactly does that mean in the fashion mag biz? NYLON isn't published by Condé Nast or Hearst, but the coziness with advertisers indicates that even independents can -- and perhaps must -- blur the advertorial lines. The "Happy Birthday to Us" feature consists of 10 full pages of greetings, nearly all of them from the sales side of the editorial/advertising wall. Nearly every photo contains six lines of .9 type identifying the fashion suppliers. And there's a regular feature entitled "Factory Girl" in which a staffer visits a designer's workplace. So a better assertion is whether it's possible for anyone to publish a fashion magazine that is truly independent -- not from a powerful parent company but from advertisers.
And say what you will about magazine cartels, but they tend to nail the pesky details, such as grammar and spelling. NYLON is filled with enough awkward syntax to wear out a grease pencil, not to mention such errors as tense switching and missing punctuation. "Most importantly" is used in place of "most important" not once but twice, and the Lohan interview alone contains two missing-word typos. Alas, the masthead lists 26 interns -- count 'em! -- but not one copyeditor. Let's hope hiring one is on the to-do list for the next ten years. Indie is one thing, but amateurish is another.
Published by: Nylon Holding Inc.
Frequency: 10 times per year
Web site: www.nylonmag.com