(We wanted to share this thought-provoking post from Maxwell in New York. What are your thoughts??)
A number of weeks ago we finally opened Martha's new Blueprint magazine and read it from cover to cover (the second issue is out very soon). What we found was a return to the grand old days of magazines (before shopping overcame the land), when scrupulous attention was paid to detail and a lifestyle was transmitted within the pages that amounted to something you could really care about.
On one of the first pages we were greeted with a full photo layout, introducing us to Blueprint's editorial team. There we rediscovered the perfectly coiffed and pulled together Martha vision chanelled down into the bodies of a young group of almost entirely female editors. They all seemed beautiful, intelligent and accomplished... AND willing to invite us into their club...
On closer inspection, we discovered that the Blueprint club was refreshingly NOT watered down and imbued with male corporate energy (sure, MSLO is a big corporation by now, but it's still a far cry from behemoth's like Conde Nast and Time Inc). These first pages carried the feeling of one woman's originating vision as opposed to vision by focus group. And unlike other magazines in which you feel that the editor is simply a rubber stamp for the big corporate publishing machinery behind her or him, you get the feeling that Blueprint really is run by this editorial group (and Martha, of course).
The genius of Martha is that she realizes that the most powerful thing any media can do is communicate humanity and style, not simply products. Products and shopping are merely the offshoot of an approach to life. Blueprint communicates an approach to life and does it very, very well. Compared to the other youthful shelter magazines, we felt Blueprint had no competition in the lifestyle category. Blueprint is a real magazine achievement.
But we also felt very strongly that the Blueprint lifestyle was not our own.
We don't live in a perfectly coiffed and strictly defined environment. We don't live in a house with a fence, watering cans and multiple dogs. We're not all heterosexual, and we didn't all go to the same schools.
Our lifestyle is modern and urban.
Our lifestyle resembles skateboarding more than it does ice skating. It can be messy and it can be beautiful.
Our lifestyle puts space at a premium (and that includes not taking up too much of other people's space).
Our lifestyle is more modest, but no less proud. It involves breaking out our own small victories and adapting to the vagaries of life in the city at the same time.
Our lifestyle is about inclusion, discovery and experimentation with all styles.
Our lifestyle is about respecting others and not believing that we have all the answers.
Flipping through the lovely world of Blueprint really got us thinking about how different we were.
It also got us thinking about how AT is growing and how we are slowly defining our own lifestyle/vision daily, bit by bit. And despite Blueprint's success in the world of media (it's a really good magazine), we felt confident that what we are all doing together, blogging and defining our modern, urban, something-or-other lifestyle had the face of the future all over it.
This could be so much more than a magazine.