by Emily Pritykin
For Edwin Rivera's Writing and Literature Class
In Partenship with Librarian David Pemberton
i-D Magazine focuses on giving light to youth culture, fashion photography, and street style. Since the beginning of its days, i-D has been a pioneer in the arts and self-expression. The first issue of i-D Magazine was published in London in 1980 by Terry Jones and his wife Tricia Jones. Terry was the editor in chief until 2014. i-D Magazine was originally dedicated to showcasing street style during London's punk era. Today, the issues are more pop culture-oriented, but still largely focus on youth culture and style all around the world. Each cover is graced with a wink and sometimes a smile - mimicking the emoticon that is the title itself. Under the new editor in chief, Holly Shackleton, the magazine carries less of the classic street style look and more of a “polished fashion periodical” look. i-D is currrently published in print 11 times a year ( December and January are combined in one issue).
The SVA Library has the most recent issues, as well as back issues dating back to 1995. Looking at the older issues, I notice that there are a lot less high fashion advertisements and more focus on the individual. To this day, i-D strives to put the spotlight on young creatives. Musicians, actors, models, and artists are given the opportunity to showcase their work to the world. The photography in the older issues seems much more personal, more directly relating to Terry Jones’s street style roots. The writing is highly visual and alluring, with fashion the focal point of each article. Today, the articles continue to be fashion based while focusing more on social issues and diversity, especially in the recent American political climate. Over the years, i-D has become international - featuring young creatives from not just the U.K and the U.S, but all over the world.
i-D puts the spotlight on the outcasts, the people with a unique style who want to make their voices heard. Clean cut and proper are without a doubt the wrong words to describe this unique periodical. It’s nice to see that since the beginning of its days, the publication has embodied punk. Chaos, collage, self-expression without borders - that’s what i-D is all about. Its strength lies in its continuous appeal to the youth for decades. i-D has changed over the years in order to survive and sell all over the world, but the focal point stayed the same.
Even though Terry Jones is no longer the editor in chief, Shackleton does a phenomenal job of maintaining the essence of i-D. Today, i-D focuses on giving a voice to the youth all over the world. Through intimate photographs, i-D lets us in on their lives and continues to live by their founding motive: that anyone can be a fashion model. Youth culture and identity continue to be the focal point in each issue, and in turn, keeps i-D alive. Flipping through the first few pages of i-D, one might begin to recognize it as any old fashion magazine. Beautifully photographed ads for Gucci, Chanel, and other high fashion brands fill the pages. Digging deeper, however, the viewer sees that i-D is much more than just high fashion.
Terry Jones has written that he "always thought that perfection was boring - we can aim for perfection, yes, but for me, the idea of perfection is a dead concept…I didn’t want something that felt like it had been made by a robot.” Looking through older issues of i-D, the magazine seemed to be put together in almost a collage-like form. This created a more hand-made and personal feel, something that Jones definitely cherishes.
Looking through i-D magazine is like taking a trip to a museum/nightclub/fashion show. The photography is enticing, the writing topics are out of this world, (ex: the June 1995 issue has an article about being abducted by aliens) and the fashion is revolutionary. As a young creative, flipping through this magazine’s colorful pages is both educational and inspiring; and I would highly recommend taking a journey through the extraordinary pages of i-D.