Circus: The Bloggers’ Bookazine #1 Fashion by Herznote

11 Jan

Welcome to the eccentric world of the Herznote publishers. A kooky, creative and devilishly stylish team, these are the characters behind Circus, a new fashion bookazine celebrating the best of the fashion industry through the eyes of an international team of bloggers.

                “A bookazine?” was the reaction I met upon gushing to my friend that I had recieved this coveted new publication from Darmstadt in Germany. “What is a bookazine?” I answered in the words of the Herznote team themselves: “Unlike magazines, which appear at short intervals in the same old journalistic corset: bookazines are monothematic, each time new and timeless. Bookazines combine the best of both worlds with the design spirit of magazines and the substance of “real” books”.

                Featuring an impressive prologue from Agyness Deyn and Fiona Byrne, founders of online fashion magazine (Fiona & Agyness) discuss the topic of the internet and how its evolution has changed the fashion industry. This is a key theme throughout this book of online treasures.

                Every kind of fashion issue that you could think of is addressed through Circus, meaning that opinions and perspectives are varied. This helps every reader not only to find something that they personally relate to or enjoy, but also helps to capture the subjective nature of fashion impeccably. From the exploration of child beauty pageant queens in USA to the topic of Style and Spirituality, between discussing the oh-so-controversial size zero debate to finding a place for disabled people in an industry that thrives on perfection, or pleasantly tackling the topic of moles, no stone is left unturned in this chic and peculiar collection. Another delightful component is that being a German publication, you can read each article in either German or English. (The best holiday I ever had was a week in Berlin, and so I’ve been thinking that I could use the bookazine to teach myself German and hopefully visit again a little more familiar with the language!) I spoke to the team themselves to hear their thoughts on their exciting new publication and what it meant to them…

Meet the team:
Rebecca Sandbichler, Editor in Chief

Inga Schörmann, Deputy Editor in Chief

Florian Siebeck, Photo Director

Josef Mayerhofer, Managing Director

Eva Anhäuser, Art Direction

Anke Schuhardt, Advertising and Marketing Director

Tessa Arsovska, Editor

ME: In an age where technology is thriving as a means of communication, debates are rife in regard to whether this is a positive or negative development. What’s your view on the matter?
ANKE: Oh, that’s no easy decision. Every development has a positive and a negative side. A project like our bookazine would have never been possible without the new ways of communication. It is so easy to get in touch with people from all over the world, talk to them by e-mail or to call a blogger in Greece or China by Skype. We love the endless possibilities of the internet, but we still love print as well. That’s why we wanted to combine the best of both worlds instead of choosing one.

How do you feel that being based in Darmstadt impacts on your creative vision? On the Herznote website you mention that in Darmstadt ‘hardly anything flourishes nor is deliberated’. Do you think this drives you to put more passion into your pursuit of all things artistic?
JOSEF: The great thing about the internet is that it doesn’t matter where you are. When we developed the idea for Circus only Inga, Eva and I were in Darmstadt. Anke was in Dublin, Florian was in Beijing and Rebecca was in Vienna. So we don’t see Circus as a project from Darmstadt, it’s a project from wherever you want. After all, it was not Darmstadt that caused us to put more passion into our pursuit, but rather the international atmosphere of our office and the knowledge that there are people out there passionately working for us although we have never met in the real world.

The idea of making ‘Heart Notes’ is among many unbearably unique selling points to the Herznote brand! How do you concoct your unusual ideas?
INGA: I actually don’t really know – it just happens. Probably it is just the atmosphere in the Herznote office as there are so many creative brains meeting. Most of the time we are just talking nonsense and in the end something new ingenious develops as for example The Blog Slam.

I love the graphics on the ‘Team’ section of your website. Do you think it is important to emphasise the Herznote team as individuals as well as a collective force?
TESSA: We are all different people, different individuals. Our diverse personalities are projected onto the bookazine and contribute to a special touch that a team of people who are more alike could not fabricate. However, we work together to make something colourful, new and unique. Having said that, I think it’s important to portray everyone’s unique quality and their personal signature and contribution to the team. To conclude, it’s important to portray the team as a whole, consisting of individuals with unusual, interesting traits that make the team just a little bit better and more diverse.

The Herznote website warmly welcomes contributors. What are you looking for in an idyllic Circus contributor?
REBECCA: We look for people who are talented in their field and passionate about what they are doing – be it writing, photography, illustration or whatever creative way they have to express themselves. In addition, we care a great deal for a professional attitude towards work. That is to say we love it when someone keeps his promises and completes his work within a given deadline. And as Circus is a bloggers’ bookazine we like our contributors to have a blog or some other kind of workspace on the internet.

When compiling Circus, where and how did you find inspiration for your collection?
EVA: Daily life, the world wide web, our office … we find inspiration everywhere. For Circus we had so many ideas that we could not have ever stopped looking for new inspirational blogs and bloggers if we had not set ourselves a deadline at some point. When we had sketched the first ideas for texts, taken the first photos and developed a rough idea about the page amount, we started compiling Circus. Therefore, we printed out dummy pages in a mini format, took needles and started on our big blackboard. The first version of the content plan took us two days.

What is your personal favourite of the pieces in Circus, and why?
JOSEF: I would go with the wool man, but I don’t, because everybody loves the wool man. So I choose the maps. I love beautiful infographics and I know how much work those little fuckers were.
REBECCA: My favourite photo editorial probably is the one by Saga Sig. She and her stylist chose designers from Iceland and the whole thing is just so dramatic in this rough but beautiful surroundings.
ANKE: It’s so hard to decide! But photo-wise I would choose the Showgirls editorial by Burke Heffner. He is one of my most loved burlesque photographers from the United States and I’m so happy that he’s part of CIRCUS.
INGA: I really do not want decide. I just do, because you want me to. My favourite piece is Raphaela Anouk’s poem – I always get goose bumps when reading it.
EVA: I’m the biggest fan of the illustrator duo Ingela Och VI from Sweden. They did the artwork of the story “The F-Word” about the intimate relation between food and fashion. I’m so proud they became Circus artists.

In the future, what sort of Bookazine would you love to create?
JOSEF: Next year we’re doing Gadgets which is pretty much the best thing that could have happened to me. But I also look forward to the Internet issue.
REBECCA: I would like to have a greater variety of cultural backgrounds in the bookazine. I hope we will have even more exotic languages in there next time.
ANKE: I would love to have a topic like music or food in the future. And apart from that I agree with Rebecca; a greater variety of cultural backgrounds and languages would be awesome!
INGA: I want an issue about sex one day, but I really think that pretty much any topic could be interesting!
EVA: I would love to do an issue about food, an issue about animals, an issue about sweets and we could do an issue about clowns … whatever – I hope we get the chance to do many more!

A la Mode Appraisal: 10/10

For an insight into international fashion and sophisticated, in-depth industry debates, you need to join the Circus. Published by Herznote, Circus is available for purchase at a very reasonable price of £12. Click here to buy from the Herznote online shop or to be redirected to Amazon.


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