'Old man' Rankin says his style mag is still relevant

By Zoe Smith

Dazed &
Confused co-founder and publisher Rankin has declared himself “past it”
on the 15th anniversary of the style magazine’s launch – but insists
the title is still relevant despite competition from other magazines,
newspaper supplements and the internet.

“I’m an old man now,” he told Press Gazette, looking back on a
period in which a host of style titles have come and gone, while weekly
magazines and supplements have begun to spot trends faster than the
style bibles.

Rankin, 39, who is currently promoting a new
feature film, The Lives of Saints, in conjunction with Italian denim
brand Meltin’ Pot, founded Dazed & Confused with editorial director
Jefferson Hack in 1991, overseeing its rise as creative director. His
photos and the magazine’s irreverent style epitomised an era where
agenda-setting publications led the creative industries.

“We
never thought we would last more than another month and we were always
chasing our tails financially and creatively,” said Rankin. “The fact
that we are still going after 15 years is a good indication of how much
a magazine like Dazed is still in demand, we still maintain that hold
on being the only magazine that crosses all cultures.”

Rankin
credits the magazine’s staff with ensuring its continued success
despite the high-profile closures of style titles such as The Face and
Sleazenation.

“The staff are the lifeblood of the magazine and that’s why it continues.”

Over the past 15 years the magazine has attracted contributors including David Bowie, Alexander McQueen and Damien Hirst.

Many critics have slammed the title for its cliquey, pretentious tone but Rankin was dismissive of such accusations.

“Maybe
in the beginning it was true that we were writing for a bunch of our
friends in Shoreditch, but Dazed has become an international magazine
with licences all over the world,” he said.

“The Dazed Group,
which now includes Another and Another Man has sustained that success
because of our unique approach to making magazines and doing
advertising and sponsoring projects, including an initiative with The
Observer in 2003 to expand the paper’s UK circulation.

“When we
started Dazed our whole approach was DIY – create, innovate, don’t talk
about it, just do it. We do tours around student unions urging students
to do the same thing today,”

he said.

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