EASY BEING GREEN: Fashion magazine Above will today unveil its renaissance as an environmental lifestyle magazine. The first issue intends to tackle environmental themes in a way that’s entertaining, according to editor-in-chief and publisher Nicolas Rachline.
“We don’t want to be the National Geographic. It would be absurd to go against those giants,” he said, explaining the shift was inspired by an invasion of jellyfish in Saint-Tropez last summer. “It’s an awesome sight, a very fearful sight, a bay you usually swim in swamped with billions of jellyfish, it wasn’t natural,” he said. “It was like a switch in my mind: This can’t go on.” He happened to be en route to see Peter Beard, both a renowned photographer and conservationist, and the idea to turn Above green was born.
Guest edited by Charlotte Casiraghi, who interviewed fashion’s green queen Stella McCartney for the issue and who was instrumental in securing an interview with “Gomorrah” author Roberto Saviano (which took place in hiding thanks to Saviano’s dissection of the Mafia), articles take a wild ride from a review of the world’s first electric sports car to a transcript of a conversation with Jean Pigozzi about his new clothing line Limoland, during which Stefano Pilati ponders how jellyfish are formed. Other contributors include stylist Charlotte Stockdale and photographer Tierney Gearon.
The tone varies from the seemingly frivolous — asking fashion designers about their green habits, including how many sheets of toilet paper they use — to what Rachline terms “wake up and smell the coffee” messages, such as an article warning about the disappearance of tuna. “People don’t like to read bad news,” he acknowledged. “But we can’t just have good news in the magazine. We have to also make people aware.”
Targeting a circulation of 50,000, Above is printed on recycled paper in a more compact version of its former self. The more than a dozen advertisers in the 120-page debut issue include Paul Smith, Lacoste, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Biotherm plus environmental groups such as Greenpeace. Its U.K. price is 5 pounds, 5 euros in the Euro-zone and $10 in the U.S.