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Iconic fashion publication i-D celebrates 40th anniversary

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

29 Oct 2020

Forty years ago, in the autumn of 1980 to be exact, Terry and Tricia Jones founded the iconic style publication i-D from the top floor of their West Hampstead home. One of the few influential titles that still survives (in a slew of cultural style zines like The Face and Blitz) most have folded or just fizzled out.

i-D was unique in that it brought a new cultural zeitgeist to the fore – think post punk and the hotbed of creativity coming out of London in the early eighties. But it also nurtured talent and a generation of stylists, editors and future fashion leaders into household names.

An article in the Independent on the eve of the London Fashion Awards in 2013 recalls the impressive list of luminaries who started their creative journeys at i-D: photographer “Nick Knight owes his career to Terry Jones, as do Edward Enninful, Judy Blame, Simon Foxton, Robin Derrick, Caryn Franklin, Juergen Teller, Helmut Lang, Craig McDean, David Sims, John Galliano, Kate Moss, and hundreds of other journalists, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. i-D gave Sade her first cover, gave Madonna her first cover, gave most people their first cover.”

A bundle of contemporary culture in a hand-stapled zine

Of course today i-D is not the same as it was four decades go: before the video platform in its current guise, before internet, social media, cellphone cameras and celebrity culture, there was a hand-stapled magazine that featured cool types winking on its cover.

A new 40th anniversary issue features a special archive portfolio and explores i-D’s history through the decades.

“I used to read i-D magazine in Nottingham where I went to university, studying fashion design, and from the first copy of i-D I bought after leaving Belfast in 1997 I collected every issue. With i-D I had found a publication that spoke my language. Street culture, fashion, music, art all rolled into one. Over my 20 year career at i-D I went from assistant to stylist to Fashion Editor to Fashion Director to Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director. I am truly humbled by this position now on the eve of i-D’s 40th anniversary,” said i-D’s Editor in Chief and Creative Director Alastair McKimm.

i-D is owned and operated by the Vice Media Group after it was acquired in 2012, and is creatively led by Alastair McKimm.

Image courtesy of I-D Vice