Fashion publishing veteran Marie-Amélie Sauvé wants everyone to slow down.
And she’s launched a new magazine, Mastermind, in the hopes of making that happen. The bi-annual publication calls cultural enrichment its pledge, and aims to rethink the standard formats for magazine features like profiles and fashion editorials.
For example, rather than simply delving into his career, an interview with Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan in the first issue explores who he was before he “made it,” and is paired with a collection of photographs from his childhood. A section on architecture seems straight off a liberal arts school syllabus, analyzing the unique ways that structures bring people together and foster community. When it comes to fashion, she’s aiming for spreads that she says are more inspirational than commercial and that privilege a mix of collaborators — both industry stalwarts, like Steven Meisel, and young, upcoming talent that she wants to promote.
Only the one recurring section in each issue, The Fix, is reminiscent of the typical fashion monthly. It showcases the design objects that Sauvé has been obsessing over of late, be they furniture or accessories.
“Each issue will be completely different. There is no theme,” said Sauvé of the magazine, which will come out every February and September. Of the decision to only publish two issues per year, she said: “I want to take time to think about what we put inside and have time to really dig into each chapter.” Thus, the content will be more expansive and less bent on timely news than what you’re likely to find in a magazine like T, where Sauvé serves as fashion director.
The first issue of Mastermind Magazine.
Though starting a print publication today may seem precarious, Sauvé (who’s also a regular consultant of Louis Vuitton) has an advantage: She has some of the industry’s biggest talents in her arsenal, including Grace Coddington and Pierre Hardy — many of whom showed up for her first issue’s February 9 debut at Bookmarc in New York. (The pub will also be available at select retailers in Paris, London, Tokyo, Milan and Los Angeles.)
“I guess it’s a reaction to what’s going on now with the internet,” Sauvé said. “I spend my mornings online and on Instagram. Like everybody else, I get a lot of inspiration from the internet, but I think it’s important to have different ways of getting information.” Online content often lacks depth, said Sauvé. Mastermind, she hopes, will help fill that void by engaging in more timeless, thought-provoking conversations than that of the 24-hour news cycle. “I want to push people to ask themselves questions about what is happening now, about politics, film, etcetera,” she said.
For now, Mastermind is only being published in English, by Brune Buonomano, the managing director of Parisian ad agency BETC Luxe, a division of Havas. Their roster of luxury clients, including the likes of Louis Vuitton and Berluti, have made for convenient advertising partners, along with brands like Paco Rabanne, Saint Laurent and Chanel. Rates range from $15,000 for the inside back cover to $30,000 for the first double-page spread.
A small, Paris-based team of six people will work on the magazine year-round. Sauvé believes that, more than crowding her schedule, this new project will be a boon to her other work by forcing her to think deeply about current events and phenomena. “It’s nice to do very different things,” she said. Time is still her greatest luxury, and the foundation on which Mastermind is built.
“Basically, it’s an invitation to take time,” she said. “Today, you have so many options [of things to do to stay] busy.” This culture of busyness has reawakened her taste for slower-paced cultural relics, like books and old movies, and she’d like Mastermind to be consumed in the same, more thoughtful step (although, contradictorily, a digital version is in the works to appease those who are too far gone). “It’s something that you can read deeply,” she said. “An object that you leave on your coffee table and come back to, something you don’t want to throw away.” At $50 per issue, you’ll have good reason not to.