Food — how it’s prepared, how it looks on the table — had a major moment during the high pandemic season. Social media feeds were festooned with enticing photos of sourdough bread posed among colorful tea towels and garnished with a fresh flower. After the lockdown, the food moment morphed to encompass a ravenous return to restaurants (and travel).
Joshua Glass — a contributor at Vogue and former staffer at CR Fashion Book and WME-IMG — is banking that our collective culinary yearning to cook and eat together, not to mention the ethical, climate and cultural issues surrounding food, will float his new endeavor: a magazine (digital and print) called Family Style, bowing early next year.
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“Food has always been this beautiful convergence of culture and community and access,” Glass told WWD.
A quarterly magazine and multimedia brand exploring the intersection of food and culture, Family Style magazine will cover what we eat, who we eat with, issues around food equity, sustainability and climate impact. Glass’ editorial vision is a “fantasy dinner party in the form of an arts and style quarterly.”
Start-up funds have come from angel investors, though Glass won’t say who exactly. “I’m not independently wealthy, so this is not self-funded,” he said. “We’re still fundraising, but we do have the funds to produce [the magazine].”
Ongoing revenue will include a mix of print and digital and sponsorship deals in the luxury brand space. Glass characterized the quarterly print magazine as the brand’s “trophy product,” but Family Style also will attempt to carve out a niche as a 360-degree product that also encompasses events, social content and event production.
“Over the last five to 10 years you’ve seen this renaissance in niche media, specifically in the cultural space. A lot of magazines have been able to really carve their own path and do something really interesting,” said Glass.
Of course, the last five to 10 years have also been something of a blood bath for digital-native media while legacy print brands have continued to contract amid declining advertising revenue. But Glass sees Family Style in a lane of its own.
“I think people, marketers, brands, the industry are seeking something new and interesting and different, but also something that has familiar elements to it,” he said. “So even though Family Style is rooted in a traditional print magazine, what we’re offering — whether it’s experiential events that have this beautiful ephemeral quality, or progressive digital content presented in a really interesting way, or event production and social amplification — is something no one’s really doing in the space. I think we’re merging experimental with experiential with culture, and I think now’s the time.”
The first issue of the quarterly magazine will bow in February with Glass atop the masthead as editor in chief. Sophia Roe, a James Beard Award-winning chef and host of the Vice show “Counter Space,” joins as food editor. Sophia Li, who spent several years at Vogue before becoming a climate activist, is impact editor and Clara Cornet, creative and merchandising director at the Galeries Lafayette flagship on the Champs Élysées, is Paris editor. Emilia Petrarca, a former fashion editor at The Cut, and Stefano Tonchi, formerly of T: The New York Times Style magazine, W and L’Officiel, will pen columns.
Glass envisions the quarterly print issue as part magazine and part coffee table book, arranged thematically with four to six covers and an aspirational menu contributed by a guest chef de cuisine. Digital content will include Finger Food, a weekly newsletter about what to see and do; Just Desserts, a monthly newsletter edited by Petrarca, and Power Lunch, a social series where editors dine with industry leaders at their favorite lunch spots, which will launch with fashion publicist Lucien Pages.
Tonchi, whom Glass met while working with Carine Roitfeld at CR Fashion Book, will launch a column that will become a regular newsletter. Glass and his staff will host several annual supper clubs timed to events including Paris Fashion Week, Salone del Mobile Milan, the Armory Show in New York and L.A. Frieze.
“Family Style is all about the intersectionality between food and culture,” said Glass. “And I don’t think there really is anyone in this path.”
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