Sunday, November 13, 2011

URBANITY CHIC: Kevin Allen

By Eva Fydrych


Kevin

Occupation: Magazine Editor
City: London, UK

Photo courtesy of Urbanity Chic


FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe Urbanity Chic?

KEVIN: Urbanity Chic is a fashion and style magazine focusing on the greatest fashion icons and the creative people behind fashion. 

FASHION STUDIO: What inspired you to start a magazine?

KEVIN:  Urbanity Chic started in March / April 2011. I started working on the magazine when I noticed that creative people in fashion needed a voice. From personal experience, I’ve always found that the person behind the creativity is in many ways just as interesting (if not more) than the things they produce. Often their experience and outlook on life is unique and enthralling. In a way, that is what I was endeavoring to explore with Urbanity Chic. 

FASHION STUDIO: How do you promote your website?

KEVIN: Generally, word of mouth is the greatest promotion we have found. With regard to the website, people that have found Urbanity Chic have really enjoyed reading the articles and have shared it with their friends and colleagues and many have written to me too which is great! For me, this has been a great compliment because it shows the idea is right and has captured people’s imagination. 

Over the last few months the readership and traffic has increased exponentially and hopefully will continue to do so into the future. 

Also, although not an original intention, Urbanity Chic has created a creative community of like-minded people. There have been instances where Urbanity Chic readers have contacted photographers, sharing work or ideas. Or, models have noticed a photographer’s work and they have worked together on collaborative projects. 

Actually for me, one the greatest aspects about creating Urbanity Chic has been meeting and working with incredibly creative, ambitious and talented people… That are all incredibly cool, fun and easy to get on with too!


 Photo courtesy of Urbanity Chic


FASHION STUDIO: What are the main challenges of your work? 

KEVIN: Time is the main challenge. I never seem to have enough with all the ideas I have and things I want to do. There’s countless times when I work until the early hours only to realize I have an early morning meeting the next day! 

One funny consequences of this is that my local Starbucks coffee house seems to know my order before I place it. I wouldn’t say I was a caffeine addict, but it helps… 

FASHION STUDIO: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years time?

KEVIN: With regard to the magazine, we’re looking to extend the global reach of Urbanity Chic. The concept is slightly different to many fashion magazines so think that we can successfully develop relationships that are mutually beneficial to everyone. 

Some exciting news.. over the last couple of months we’ve recently had offers to work with people to create fashion lingerie and perfume but nothing is concrete so far. Watch this space! For me any new commercial project has to be unique, innovative, and creative. 

Personally, I’m happiest when I’m creating something artistic and innovative, so I’d love to continue to be working on anything with like-minded people. 

FASHION STUDIO: What is your ultimate goal for Urbanity Chic? 

KEVIN: The ultimate goal of the Urbanity Chic magazine is the same as initially; to give creative people and creative ideas in fashion a voice, a way to express and a way to share. 

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe fashion market in the UK?

KEVIN: The fashion market in the UK is varied. London is one of the fashion capitals of the world, having both the largest fashion outlets and independent boutiques from upcoming fashion designers. Also there’s a considerable amount of, in my opinion, good high street fashion that allows everyone to experiment, mix and match the style and look they’re trying to achieve.


Fashion show on London Underground (Photo courtesy of  High Street Fashion Week)


FASHION STUDIO: What do you think about fashion blogging? Why did it become such a phenomenon? 

KEVIN: Blogging is a great way for someone to share their ideas, interests and passions. With incredibly easy to use blogging platforms like Tumblr, Posterous and Blogger you don’t need to be an expert in html or web design to get started! 

FASHION STUDIO: What is your fashion background? 

KEVIN: I’ve always been sketching, writing, drawing, composing, producing and creating for as long as I can remember. Whilst as a student I worked with some photographers and taught myself Adobe Photoshop. 

The Urbanity Chic site idea in a way came from the success of Song Revelation and Essential Pop music magazines which showcase the best upcoming bands and artists and give great music news. 

FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion magazines do you read? What makes a good magazine?

KEVIN: It's actually quite strange that I’ve only really been reading a lot of magazines since I bought an iPad last year. I really enjoy the interactive aspect of magazines and it also is a lot lighter :) 

I read Vogue and National Geographic for the Photography, GQ because is a great interactive iPad magazine. I also read lots of papers such as The Times, FT, etc, which have great fashion articles from fantastic fashion columnists here in the UK. 

For upcoming talent I find just surfing the internet too can reveal gems that often don’t get the recognition they deserve from mainstream magazines. 

FASHION STUDIO: Top fashion events you look forward to in 2012... 

KEVIN: I really like Avant Garde fashion and the creative style of the associated photography. I think that the Alexander McQueen fashion house and Sarah Burton typify this creative philosophy more than most so always try to follow their latest projects and shows. 

Also, I try to keep an eye on both Brighton Fashion Week and London Fashion Week which is a great way to find upcoming photographers, designers and models in UK fashion.


Alexander McQueen ball gown in an Escher-inspired print (Photo by Eric Wilson)


FASHION STUDIO: What are your other interests except style and fashion? 

KEVIN: I’m a songwriter and music producer. I’m currently working on some collaborations and am releasing some songs before the end of the year. I’m unsure if this is the right place to plug some of my productions but you can check them out on http://kapelafly.com/

Music and sport are my two main interests.

Sportwise, I enjoy playing competitive sports such as Soccer (Football) and squash but also really enjoy martial arts and train in karate and tai chi. Also I sometimes try to do some yoga since it helps my suppleness, which needs all the help it can get since am 6ft4 tall! 

Musicwise I like going to gigs, listening to music, writing music and playing the piano and trumpet when want to relax! 

FASHION STUDIO: If you could describe London in five words, what would you say? 

KEVIN: Cosmopolitan, Vibrant, Historical, Good Night Out (Sorry, that’s six) :)

FASHION STUDIO: Best advice you ever received...

KEVIN: I’m not sure if its advice but the thing that gets me excited is spending time with people that are passionate about what they do. When compared to most people whom just do what they can do get by, I find these people empowering and get me excited to do what I do too. 

Advice-wise, the biggest is to ‘Have Fun!’

FASHION STUDIO: What is your opinion about the Fashion Studio Magazine?

KEVIN: The Fashion Studio Magazine is awesome! I like the vision of what you’re trying to do! I hope we can stay in touch personally and professionally for a long time to come!

FASHION STUDIO: Thank you, I hope so too!



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