Jake Gyllenhaal in Neue Journal. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
How many celebrity profiles have you read that go something like this: “So and so is sitting in the lobby of a fancy hotel, wearing a chic this and a cozy that, nibbling on the Waldorf salad. He/she is a huge movie star, but in reality, he/she is just like us!” From Vanity Fair to Vogue, they all kind of sound the same. Which is just one reason that Michelle Grey and Dominic Sidhu decided to do something different.
In Neue Journal, a new bi-annual hardcover magazine launching today, most of the words are the subjects’ own. Instead of contextualizing Jake Gyllenhaal’s thoughts on Southpaw, the reader’s presented with his stream of consciousness. Want to know how Juliette Binoche feels about being photographed bare-faced? She’ll tell you, without commentary from a journalist.
“We didn’t have a specific agenda, other than doing something that we thought was different and engaging, a little more intimate than something championing [a celebrity’s] next movie or next gallery opening, something to give more personal insight into who they are,” says Grey.
Meryl Streep on the cover of Neue Journal. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
The debut issue features eight covers, from actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep to artists Frank Stella and Ed Ruscha, all of which were photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Of Lacombe, Streep writes, “Being photographed by her is the only time I don’t mind being photographed—in other situations I feel like a performing elephant!” Yes, there’s an article written by Meryl Streep.
It feels more like a book than a magazine: Dr. Jane Goodall’s penned a love letter to nature; Julie Gilhart interviews the emerging designers behind buzzy brands Jacquemus and Vetements; there are illustrations by Florence Welch, a story about surfing in Iran, a preview of Fondazione Prada, a collaboration between Gus Van Sant and poet Forrest Gander, and an editorial photographed by Rick Owens.
In fact, there’s so much stuffed into the 264 pages that I wondered how on Earth they’d follow it up? Grey laughed—they’d been asked before—and answered, “We have so many ideas already, there are so many incredible people—we’re not worried!”
Grab the issue at Dover Street Market.