The London-based Dutch fashion stylist and brand consultant Bonnie Langedijk on Tuesday will launch Hurs, a company that aims to challenge traditional media’s way of representing women by speaking to the community in a democratic way.
The social media-first platform, created by women, for women, will cover areas like fashion, art, design, travel and food, will include a website, a biweekly newsletter, curated product edits and a club that will encourage readers to exchange ideas with the person Hurs chooses to highlight.
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For the launch, Hurs will send out a physical manifesto to 100 women, and release a series of conversations online with leading females in various fields, including Swedish singer Lykke Li; Yola Jimenez, and Gina Correll Aglietti from mezcal brand Yola Mezcal; Eva Langret, director at Frieze London; Louise Trotter, creative director at Lacoste; jewelry designer Jacqueline Rabun, and artists Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze and M. Florine Démosthène in conversation with each other.
Hurs will also be hosting round tables in the form of an invite-only Instagram group chat, letting industry insiders such as fashion writers, buyers and communication managers share their expertise and work experience filter-free.
“Hurs is for the overlooked, for those who don’t want the product to exist in a silo but in the context of culture at large, for those who prefer what’s best over what’s new,” said Langedijk, who used to work at places like Elle Netherlands and Net-a-porter before pursuing a career in brand consultancy.
Langedijk told WWD that it took her 15 years to realize that she no longer wanted to be fooled by glossy titles’ promises of female self-improvement, increasingly influenced by advertisers.
“We’ve lived with the inconsistent and one-dimensional way women are spoken to. Accepted how we’ve been portrayed on their pages. That can no longer be enough,” she said.
“They’ve lost the ability to serve us, instead continuing to celebrate the same few. They’ve exchanged editorial independence for advertising dollars, confused the concept of community for readership and changed absolutely nothing of their structures and formats for decades, leaving the space strikingly homogeneous as a result,” she added.
Langedijk said with Hurs that she aims to attract a new generation of like-minded women who are “image-driven, intelligent and informed,” and offer “smart content through a style lens.”
She acknowledged that there are already some amazing titles in the space, such as Gentleman, Cereal and Konfekt, but “they have barely any presence online.”
“So these women who are looking for that point of view online are left with nothing. We really want to step in there and be the ones to change that,” Langedijk added.
She started the project last October. So far, Langedijk is looking after every aspect of Hurs.
“I think it’s better that way because you really need to think about every single thing you add to your business. I want to see what our readership actually wants from us first. Instead of letting investors lead our decision-making,” she said.
She believes the major potential revenue stream will come from peer-to-peer product recommendations after a sizable community is formed.
In the first newsletter, Hurs will include personal top picks from people it features to test the water, as well as top articles they have been reading online.
“It’s not just about fashion. It can also be a bottle of wine or a vintage couch. And it’s also not about what’s new, but what’s best. So it can also be something from the old seasons.
“The credit you normally get in a magazine around the product is the price and maybe a really short description of what it is. But with us, you always get three bullet points on why it’s great because that’s what I always wonder ‘why this bag and why not that?'” she explained.
Looking into the future, Langedijk hopes that in three years’ time she can open an office and hire a team to better serve the Hurs community.