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Founded in 2007 by Imran Amed, The Business of Fashion is a highly acclaimed portal, celebrated by some of the biggest names in the industry. Earlier this year, the online publication launched a series of live-streaming interviews, concentrating on those dubbed to carry the future of fashion. Amed recently sat down with Dazed Digital to discuss the project and indeed BOF’s latest subject choice, Nick Knight. The interview event itself will be hosted of BOF’s website and Knight’s own SHOWstudio, at 1:30pm EST on November 26, coinciding with the latter site’s 10th anniversary. For those unfamiliar with Nick Knight, he is a fashion photographer who is primarily recognised as the co-founder of SHOWstudio, a multi-award winning fashion website; established in 2000, Knight has transformed the way in which fashion is presented. Indeed the focus of the forthcoming interview will concentrate on where Knight sees the future of fashion communication. Having also won numerous awards for his editorial work for the likes of Vogue and i-D magazine, Knight has also created successful promotion campaigns for a host of celebrated brands including Dior, Alexander McQueen and many more. Excerpts from Dazed Digital‘s interview can be seen below.
Dazed Digital: Why Nick Knight as a ‘Fashion Pioneer’? How do you pick your interview subjects?
Imran Amed: We select our ‘Fashion Pioneers’ carefully, but there is no formula or strict set of criteria per se. What’s clear is that all of our ‘Fashion Pioneers’ have taken risks, followed their guts and been pioneering in their approach to fashion – whether that be in their use of technology, in devising innovative business models, or pushing themselves creatively. And, if I am going to speak to them for 60 minutes, they must have something interesting to say!
In a practical sense, how do you think Nick Knight has influenced fashion today?
Not only has Nick Knight created some of the most memorable fashion images of our time, and challenged the notions of conventional beauty, but his use of the internet was truly groundbreaking. He saw potential where others only saw risk. Nick was the first to remove the veil from the process of fashion creation to let his audience understand and participate in that process – before YouTube, before Facebook, before so-called reality fashion television. Maybe he didn’t call it that back then, but Nick was the true pioneer of Fashion 2.0.
How do you feel online videos and fashion websites have affected the tradition of print magazines?
Without SHOWstudio.com, Net-a-Porter.com and Style.com – all of which were founded in the year 2000 and are celebrating their 10th anniversaries this year – websites like The Business of Fashion and Dazed Digital might not exist. They paved the way for the rest of us to find our own digital fashion voices and audiences. Likewise, this in turn has forced the fashion print media to reevaluate their role in fashion communication more generally and think carefully about what their audiences expect from them.
What do you reckon about the future of fashion print media?
I don’t think print is going anywhere for the moment, but the smart magazines are already focusing on delivering content that might not work as well on the internet – such as beautifully rendered photo shoots, in depth features and interviews, while leaving breaking news and time sensitive reporting to the internet. It’s also forcing print magazines to think about how they can create integrated online and offline offerings that work well together, and how they can deliver that content on new devices like the iPad. Frankly, I don’t understand the monthly magazines that continue to publish news that is two months old, and which has already been reported on ad nauseam online, including on their own websites.