Verve Fashion Magazine is not what it seems.

            The name: Verve Fashion Magazine suggests that it is about fashion.

            That is a starting point. The word “verve” indicates “spirit,” “energy,” “enthusiasm,” “passion,” “vitality,” and we wanted that to come to the fore, but people who follow cultural threads, will also think about the “Verve” record label of the 1950s which was launched to give a platform to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Ben Webster and Lester Young.

            How do these ideas connect? Why Verve?

 

            A magazine was conceived in the late 1990s to have a core of fashion and beauty, but extend into arts and culture – but there are some very successful magazines with that base. The concept was to extend even further into HOW culture shaped our perceptions, our morality, our taste, our values – and how a diversity of culture would deepen and broaden our understanding of the world, pulling in a larger audience and a more inclusive world.

             But that concept never got off the ground. 9/11 occurred and changed much.  In the five years after 9/11, digital photography and digital media gained a foothold and became influential. Media and voice became more democratic, more immediate and more reactionary.  By the mid-2000s, fashion, media, music, art, was becoming more spontaneous, more immediate, but also less deep and layered.

 

             Verve Fashion Magazine signifies the history, the depth, the context, but also the desire to both READ what exists today, but LEAD the way, for where we go tomorrow.  Both today and tomorrow, are based on what we know, and have learned from yesterday and where we are today.

            Verve Fashion Magazine did not want to be a reportage of trends, but a platform for commentary, opinion, thought and insight. It was taking a leap from what we see and hear today, to the importance of what we see and hear and feel, and why it matters.

            We did not want to do a story of “blue” based on that color being commercially trending, but the significance of the “color,” the word, the suggestion, the implication, the feel, the way it could push society, or just push one single person.

            We wanted to create a platform that didn’t just feature women and race and diversity, but give nuance to the people who are birthed, affected, and deepened by their background, experience and talent.

 

            Why is Verve Fashion Magazine small? Unknown? Buried? For the same reason that innovation in design or art, springs from independence, seclusion and a coherent development BEFORE it is seen in the artist’s “reveal.” It HAS to be crafted, refined, erased and revised . . .  it has to be edited, to arrive at the message that was meant to be sent. To have the meaning that was meant to be felt. The sound that was meant to be heard.

            Fashion is an applied art. Anyone can “discover” duct tape and credit cards, but great fashion, and great designers, develop concepts that transit through their careers, or evolve, or disintegrate if it has emptiness. But great artists and designers don’t stop with failure, they learn and bring something back – the commercial world is too impatient to fail, or wait.

            And that has been the failure of an industry. Artists, both musical and fine artists, look for “discovery.” And in that searching for a “discoverer,” they lose depth, meaning, context and message.  When they create FOR the expression, or message, or purpose, or meaning, they become more successful – but are often unknown – because they are small, unknown, hidden or buried.

 

            Verve Fashion Magazine exists today because of a vision . . .  of leading the way between fashion, art, beauty and the world we live in which is hungering for cultural beacons. Real ones. Genuine ones. Authentic ones. 

            At this point, I don’t think that Verve Fashion Magazine will lose the cultural beacon. It is founded on an idea of reflection of the world around us, our successes, our failures and our goals. It’s relevance is not based on the desire of an industry, but the needs of the world in which it is a part.

            That is the Grail that the commercial world seeks. Verve is not against commercial success – but against losing integrity and the path, in order to attain it. Welcome aboard!!!

Phillip Wong

Editor-In-Chief                Phillip Wong

Design Director                Louis Franco

Associate Editor               Jazmin del Valle

Associate Editor               Leanna Franco