for the future of fashion, look to the assistant!
Assistant is the independent magazine celebrating those behind the scenes in the fashion industry; the shiny, happy, unrelenting wonder beings that ensure your favourite designers, stylists and editors never falter.
Brais Vilaso and Xim Ramonell, age 25 and 24 respectively, met online before becoming best friends at fashion school in Madrid. Uninspired by a line up of magazines with the same face on the cover, the duo invested time, energy and money into creating their very own publication, Assistant. With their first issue currently on the coolest shelves across the world, and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams on their first cover, we're incredibly impressed. We caught up with the young team to find out what they learnt from assisting, their hopes for the future of the fashion industry and what advice they'd give to people who want to follow in the footsteps.
So many people plan to start up their own magazine. What pushed you to actually do it?
We're the kind of people that just do what we want. We think you should always do what you want, when you want, and as soon as you can. Assistant was the perfect title to introduce people to a new generation, one which is taking over.
Does Assistant have a mission statement or mantra?
Yes. The fashion industry looks quite boring to us nowadays; with the same people are doing the same things over and over. It's easy to create a beautiful picture when you have a great team, but for us it should be more about what story you're telling with the picture. We dream of an industry that doesn't have the same actress across 30 different covers, one that will instead make us dream again. Our mission: to try to bring forward new people and stories that will hopefully help that dream come true.
How did you decide on Maisie as your cover star?
At the time we were crazy addicted to Game of Thrones and decided that Maisie was just perfect for it. She's young, fresh and so very talented. Assistant become an industry magazine because of the content, but we didn't want to be just that, so we knew it had to have something other than an insider on the cover. And Maisie is just so lovely!
Why did you decide to put her back on the cover and face on the back?
This is a concept that we want to continue with our magazine. Assistant introduces the back of the industry; the people behind the scenes. We wanted to keep curiosity until the end. So many people said we were crazy to keep the cover stars a secret but we loved the idea.
What has assisting taught you?
It taught us to believe in ourselves and what we think is right. Assisting someone, like fashion school, is more about what it comes with it than what you actually learn. It helps you to wake up and look further. In terms of assisting itself: discretion is everything, so be efficient and make sure you have everything ready before your boss even asks for them.
In the issue you discuss how assisting shoots varies between cities... could you summaris your experiences assisting in each city?
London: Everything is possible.
Paris: Possible is nothing.
New York: Nothing is possible without everything.
Are there any particular assistants that you predict huge things for?
We believe in the make-up artist Aude Gil, who assists Stephan Marais but has already done covers with Demarchelier and Marie Amelie Sauve. And Celine Reymond, who has assisted all of the best hairdressers in the world - notably Guido - is unstoppable!
What advice would you give to others wanting to start up their own magazine?
Don't hesitate too much. Just do it.
Did you encounter any problems?
It was hard work. We got a lot of no's, and struggled with little time and of course, financial limitations.
Have you already started planning the second issue?
Yes! Our next cover will be MAJOR and a real statement.
How does it feel to hold the finished product in your hands?
It has been two years since we first thought up the concept and now it is available from dreamy places all over the world. It feels so good!
What are your hopes for the future of the fashion industry?
We simply hope that the fashion industry writes some fashion history again. Not everything has been done yet… thank God Galliano is back!
Text Francesca Dunn
Images courtesy Assistant Magazine