Dirk Standen is the Editor-In-Chief of Style.com, the up-to-the-minute online destination for global style and fashion coverage. In an unexpected turn of events, Standen was at the pulse of turning his online endeavor into a printed publication, and on Monday April 2nd, he’s about to launch his second issue of Style.com/PRINT – a printed publication centered on the theme of fashion behind closed doors. Just as the issue wrapped, we chatted with Dirk and found out why going backwards, as most would argue, from pixel to paper seemed like the natural evolution for the Style.com brand.
Life+Times: As the Editor-In-Chief of Style.com – what exactly does your role entail?
Dirk Standen: It’s everything from planning long-term initiatives like the launch of the magazine or new digital projects to editing reviews and writing headlines for the site at 2am during Fashion Week. We’re a small team so it’s pretty hands on.
L+T: Style.com is considered one of the primary go-to online destinations for global fashion news. What’s your overall mission with the website?
DS: I could give you a fancy mission statement but really it’s to keep delivering that information faster and better. There are more and more competitors every day so we have to stay on our toes.
L+T: You’re about to launch your second issue of Style.com/PRINT – a printed publication that takes Style.com into the tangible world. How did this process come about?
DS: Fairchild is looking to expand Style.com in a number of ways. I know it seems counterintuitive to some people, but a magazine felt like a fairly natural step for us. It made business sense – a glossy print page is still a very effective way of delivering a luxury advertising message – and it gave our editors a chance to showcase their skills in a different medium.
L+T: We loved the first issue. It was both refreshing and sharp. What do you feel has changed with the second issue?
DS: Thank you for saying that. I hope we’ve kept most of the elements that made the first issue entertaining and informative, but we also concentrated on strengthening the storytelling in the second issue. As well as focusing on intriguing personalities like Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, we worked with great photographers like Jocelyn Bain Hogg and Nick Waplington. They’re both incredible social observers who usually work outside the fashion arena, and I think they brought a fresh, incisive perspective to the subject.
L+T: The theme of the issue shows fashion “Behind Closed Doors.’ Why was this an aspect that you thought would capture readers?
DS: In the last few years, there’s been an explosion of interest in what goes on behind the scenes. We felt that Style.com was uniquely positioned to capture not just the last few hours backstage, but also the days leading up to the show. Everyone’s fascinated by this intense, exhilarating process of putting a collection together and the ways designers and their teams cope with the pressure.
L+T: Where do you see Style.com/PRINT going in the next few years?
DS: In addition to the Spring and Fall issues we’re currently doing, I think you’ll see us tackle events and themes beyond the collections.