Have you ever wanted to find out how magazines are created, take a peek into the publishing world, and find out how creatives make such amazing publications? Well, today is your chance.
We took 5 minutes with Aaron Mark, Editor in Cheif of Boyfriend magazine. We discuss the ups and downs of running your own business, and what the fashion industry is really like.
How did Boyfriend Magazine come about?
As with most things, the magazine concept was constructed over a period of time, I didn’t wake up one day and suddenly start running a magazine. My vocation in life is styling, and I particularly enjoy the storytelling aspect of editorial styling. I became frustrated as a creative that other larger publications were not accepting my work, not because it wasn’t good enough, but because I wasn’t necessarily styling with Dior or Gucci. Apparently those high profile brands are the only ones the larger publications want to promote.
In around June of last year, I had been toying with the idea of producing my own small publication. I worked in top level operations for a large corporate before deciding to ‘go rogue’ and throw myself into fashion. I knew I had the savvy and the know-how to at least get it off the ground.
I’m happy to say that we launched Boyfriend in August of last year. Since then we have grown from strength to strength. We have now amassed a readership of 10,000 which is far beyond my expectations. I’m simply blown away.
Where do you get your motivation from?
I think it’s easy to be motivated when you are doing something that you love, and I genuinely love my job. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my previous roles. I really get a buzz from operations, and styling allows my creative side to emerge in a beautiful way. Being EIC allows me to combine the two, and it’s a glorious thing!
I always strive to add value to the industry and to the magazine every day. I get a kick off coming away from a project or an issue, knowing that I have given new talent a chance they may not have been given anywhere else. Allowing my successful peers to explore new ideas and concepts without some of the commercial constraints that are put under larger publication contributors.
What is your day to day like?
Believe it or not, running the magazine is not my full-time job because unfortunately. Contrary to what you may have been told, running a publication isn’t as lucrative as you may think.
With this in mind, my days are often jam-packed and you can often find me feverishly responding to emails and taking calls at every given opportunity. I sometimes find the balance a difficult thing to achieve.
The goal is very much to run the mag full time and to have a paid team of glorious creatives making magic every day.
What are the best bits about working for yourself?
I adore having the freedom to work when and where I want with the mag. I view my role as the guardian of the brand. So I really enjoy finding new brands and features that compliment the mag and will give our readers something new and exciting to read or view. That kind of guardianship only really comes from loving something unconditionally. It really is like my Boyfriend!
That’s actually why the mag is called Boyfriend. Because I don’t have one, I and wanted everyone to have an excuse to say they did!
What are the toughest moments?
I would say in the 2 weeks leading up to a new issue drop. This is when I disconnect from my life slightly. The mag demands so much of my focus and attention at that time. Take our latest issue for example, I was editing articles and tweaking layouts in the 48 hours before the issue dropped.
I also really struggle with the ‘ego’ the industry brings out in people. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I call a spade a spade and cannot stand narcissism. This industry does harbour a lot of that, so I find it tough to hold my tongue sometimes.
Thankfully though, the people I work with regularly, are an absolute dream. I’ve made some amazing friends from the industry too. I do think the universe only brings me people who share my positive vibes which I‘m extremely grateful for!
What has been your proudest moment for Boyfriend so far?
I think it had to be earlier in the year, I was walking to a show at LFWM with someone I hadn’t seen in a while so we were both catching up on what we had both been doing etc.
As we were walking and talking, we were following a younger guy and girl in front of us who looked very ‘fashion’ to us. The girl turned on her heels as we were chatting and said very boldly to me ‘You’re Aaron!’
I was stunned for a second but replied that yes that is my name. She proceeded to tell me about how she follows me on Instagram and adores the magazine and enquired about an internship with us before. Knowing that someone has heard about the mag and wants to get involved and share their creativity, was amazing.
Tell us all about your latest issue, Issue 3…
Well, we’ve brought you even more stunning editorials for our fabulous contributors across the globe. Including our talented regular contributor Jody Van Geert, a stunning 80’s inspired shoot which I aptly titled ‘Don’t You Want Me’ shot by Vitalij Sidorovic. A gorgeous creative shoot ‘Perfect Nightmare’ by Cristina Galan which highlights the danger of losing identity, and so many more.
Whilst we are talking about the editorials actually, here’s a fun fact that most people don’t realise right away. Every editorial title that we publish is a song title or inspired by a song. Which will make you read our titles a bit more in future!
Our editors have also been hard at work bringing you some incredible pieces too. Beauty Editor Jo has given us her ‘New Year, Better You’ products. Contributor Sonam Naidu introduces us to an amazing new mentoring programme ‘House of Peroni’. I wrote a few pieces myself including an article about how we can ‘Make the Planet Lush Again’ which is a topic I’m extremely passionate about.
We’ve had an incredible response to the issue so far. Helped immensely by our handsome cover stars The Wade Twins. I met them at an event last year and after a brief chat, I knew I had to have them on the cover. Thankfully they trusted me enough to take them from a commercial into an editorial market. The outcome is incredible so I couldn’t be more proud of them both!
What is planned for Issue 4?
Well, we’re bringing you even more stunning content. Our submissions for this issue are still open, there’s still time to get even more amazing work into the issue!
I’ve also got a surprise cover star for this issues cover shoot which will be styled by yours truly. All I can say about this person is that she has stolen our hearts, and she will always be our next top model. So look out for that one!
Boyfriend is available in print and digital, print being on demand so as to eliminate any wastage going into landfill (one of Aarons policies within the structure of his distribution model) and a digital copy costs just $5. Follow Aaron here, and Boyfriend here. Find out more and order your issue over at boyfriend-mag.com.