‘He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.’*—Māori proverb
With our 25th anniversary in October getting closer, I wanted to highlight some of the team members and friends of Lucire who got us on this positive path. This is far from an exhaustive list, and it is not meant to be definitive.
Simone Knol was really our first editor, introduced to me by a mutual friend, Ingrid Kennedy. Simone had some wonderful ideas and we always had a great time working in my office back in 1998–9, before she moved to London. We’ve maintained our friendship ever since.
M. K. Johnson wrote our early beauty stories, back when we were still finding our feet with this medium. I dare say we both like the entrepreneurial spirit and the possibilities that it brings. I still remember a wonderful piece she wrote on beauty products that had finished production, and where you could still find them. This was the only time 4711 was mentioned in Lucire!
Stevie Wilson, our first US bureau chief, tried to organize things Stateside as we added print to our offerings. She had already been with us doing coverage from LA when we were web-only, and was my first connection to California. My stay at the Avalon Hotel was down to Stevie and her connections. I still remember driving to see her from there and making the mistake of having my window down—Americans have air conditioning for a reason and I breathed in a lot of smog that afternoon!
Will Rogowski was another introduction. Working with the UNEP at that time, Will was key to our partnership with his organization in 2003, and since then, we have kept our promise to champion environmentally friendly fashion brands.
I can’t remember how I met photographer Jon Moe, but I can tell you that he shot the very first print cover story as we prepared to go into this medium. His shoot with Jennifer Siebel, then an actress, now California’s first lady, helped give me the proof of concept to proceed with a print edition. Jon’s one of the nice guys of photography in New York and I am so grateful of his generosity and kindness. His shoot with actress Violett Beane in 2019 remains one of my favourites.
Some time in 2003, Stanley Moss and I connected for the first time, discussing brands and marketing. Before I knew it, this erudite New York native was our travel editor. Stanley’s style and his command of expression, not to mention his vigilance on matters relating to culture and commerce, elevate our travel stories. When he started collaborating with Paula Sweet, we had the perfect travel duo. Stanley also let me serialize a number of his books, and they are most entertaining to read.
Susan Kelly, who was covering the Montréal beat, and who happened to have an interest in astrology, helped solidify our North American coverage in the early days. She also happens to be a woman of excellent taste.
I met Elyse Glickman around this time, too, and through her I came to know Jody Miller and Leyla Messian. Elyse and Jody went on to start Lucire Rouge, a US offshoot of Lucire, and successful in its own right. We watched how the LA celebrity scene changed, but these ladies never failed to bring the latest on that world, along with beauty and travel, to our readers.
Doug Rimington is the best backstage photographer in the business. He got his start with us in 2004, and he has shot editorials, catwalk, and cars for us, and all are consistently professional. But I’ll always be impressed by what he shoots backstage, the candid moments, and how he brings them to life. He might disagree but I think he’s an artist.
Lola Cristall first started covering Paris for us, as well as one trip to Cannes, and now looks at the finer things Stateside. After working together for some years, I finally met Lola in person in Paris in 2010, during the couture shows. A deeply caring, grounded person—just as I had expected.
Mirella and Valentin Lapusca, the mother-and-son team who helmed Lucire Romania, confirmed to me that Lucire’s print edition had a life beyond these shores. They took a real chance on us, and I still show off the unique Romanian covers they created for their market to Romanian New Zealanders I meet. I’m as proud of their work as they are, maybe even more.
I met Joanne Gair in 2005 when I did a story on her. Little did I know that that one meeting would become a long collaboration beginning in the 2010s, where we had the privilege and honour to publish shoots that she had worked on, and I believe she has done make-up on more Lucire covers than anyone else. Damien Carney, who often photographs, Nikko Kefalas, who creative-directs, and Adrian Gutierrez, with his hairstyling, would be up there in terms of covers shot, both for the home edition and licensed ones. Lindsay Adler has shot several, too, thanks to Jo’s connection. Jo is my Kiwi link to New York these days and I value our friendship immensely.
Summer Rayne Oakes has been a friend of the magazine since the early 2000s while she was still at Cornell. It was Sum’s idea to have ‘Behind the Label’, creating international sustainable style editorials for Lucire. Graduating cum laude and a trained entomologist, Summer Rayne cemented our sustainable fashion coverage. She also wrote one of the most memorable editorials for the magazine, ‘Bust–waist–hip: the skinny on fashion’s body weight dilemma’, on the dangers of the modelling industry in favouring too-thin women.
I think it was through Summer Rayne that I met John F. Cooper, another New York-based photographer who shot for us in the 2000s. I still remember his cover story featuring Amber Peebles on her first trip to NYC in 2006. Wonderful work.
It was Laura Ming-Wong who established the close working relationship with Buoy Hairdressing in 2006 and we had some beautiful covers created in New Zealand during her time with us. Her innovation was the ‘Luxury Line’ page(s) at the back of the magazine. It was her belief that Lucire should have a strong front, middle, and back. All these years later, we still have the luxury items close each print issue.
David Machowski’s travelogues complemented Stanley’s over the years, and his encounter with the Ku Klux Klan remains one of the most memorable in our pages. He tells very personal travel tales and they’re always a delight to read.
Nicole McKinnon was our beauty columnist when we had a shake-up in 2006 and introduced some columns at the back of the print edition. She later went on to start Kokulu, one of the best skin care ranges I know, with natural, skin-friendly ingredients.
Camille Sanson might be surprised to find herself mentioned here, as she shot only periodically for us, but I appreciated her work: she was always world-class. Similarly, Andrew Matusik, who photographed Elizabeth Mitchell, Denise Richards and Gal Gadot (among others) for us, among others, never disappointed with his creativity and vision.
In 2007, Sam Mitchell came to intern for us, and I had to wonder why. If the purpose of an internship is to hone your writing skills, there was little for Sam to do, as here was this young woman who was already a talented writer. Great, gripping articles, that needed no subbing. We’ve had some great interns and juniors over the years, too: Alex Barrow, who found herself on an overseas trip weeks into her time here; and Christine Min, who I admire for making sure a job is finished properly. There are countless others and I run the risk of doubling the length of this article if I were to name all those who made a significant contribution to Lucire.
Miguel Kirjon’s Swiss training and vision brought Twinpalms Lucire to life in 2008. The layouts were true to the Swiss style, in contrast to mine; and he made one significant contribution: Twinpalms Lucire was features-based, with no news. The magazines had to stick around for six to twelve months, and news articles would date them. Consequently, he only had features, and that is largely what we do today. We still have six pages of products (where they serve to mark the period in which the issue was published), but we tend to leave news itself for the website.
Fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng came into my orbit in 2010, introduced to me by his immediate predecessor, Samantha Hannah. I continue to be impressed by his vision, insight, and passion for his topics. Some of you might know one of my first jobs was a calligrapher. I was deeply surprised one Christmas to discover Sopheak is also an expert in calligraphy, with his beautifully lettered envelopes. He might claim to be outspoken but the fact is he can be very humble about his skills. I recall we had a lot of debate over one cover in the mid-2010s. He won.
Sopheak collaborated with Louise Hatton, Jock Robson, Val Cabadonga, among others, and I love the edgy styles he brings in his creative direction.
Stuart Cowley is a wonderful, personal friend of mine, and we often work on car stories together, as he’s more than handy with a camera, and it’s a great way for us to catch up. Quite a few of the later photos of me behind the wheel are Stu’s, and we even teamed up to see if we could bring Autocade to a video format.
Jamie Dorman first worked on a shoot with Laura Vandervoort for us in 2012, and we later found out we are both Whovians. I like the joy Jamie brings to her work: you get the sense that whatever she worked on, there was a lot of fun on that shoot. It’s thanks to Courtney Dailey who photographed Laura that we made the connection—Courtney’s work has colour and vibrancy, so no wonder she made the cover on her first attempt with us. Recently Jamie’s beauty work with photographer Eric Hason has been a wonderful boost.
Reilly Sullivan impressed me a lot with his first story, and you’ll probably think I’m some egomanic when I say this: his writing approach, I thought, resembles mine. He might disagree. Regardless, his stories show not only an understanding of fashion, but also the historical context in which it takes place.
The crew at Lucire KSA led by Aljawhara Alotaishan as publisher, and Rola Al-Ouda, Hisham Najeeb, Taha Sakr, Marwa Hussien: what an amazing job you all do every month to bring our international fashion into your growing market. I am grateful to the late Simon Brindle for making the introduction and overseeing the first year till his untimely and unexpected passing in December 2019, days before my own father’s passing. When I spoke to Simon’s son, Islam, about his father, he told me that he was a man who tirelessly helped others. I have to agree. My Dad was the same, too, and he gave a lot to keep this magazine running, when the going got tough. I couldn’t have done it without him.
Bhavana Bhim first wrote for us in the early 2010s, but there was a period from around 2018 when we commissioned a larger number of pieces from her. These were incredibly fun, and she struck up a great friendship with Lucire KSA’s first editor Annie Wahab. Annie’s designer and stylist interviews helped localize the magazine and build up its initial following.
George Rush has an impressive résumé already, and thanks to Stanley Moss, he’s penned some of the most riveting and absorbing travel stories I have had the privilege to publish.
I turn to Meg Hamilton when I’m in a pinch, it seems, and her catwalk stories never disappoint. She’s written a lot more than catwalk, of course—you can see her byline around the website—and she has such a way of concepts with beautiful, expressive language. Yet she also has a discipline and structure to her writing.
Beth Follert came into our world and is the make-up artist and pointwoman behind several of our latest celebrity shoots. She’s quite a talent and I’ve come to know some younger names that I otherwise wouldn’t have. And Claudia Goetzelmann’s photography is a breath of fresh air, and we’ve run a number of her shoots (including on the cover) over the last several years.
With Lucire KSA starting a French edition in 2021, the translation team—Alexander Guy, Megan Spada, and Léona d’Huy—have helped make that a success.
To my beautiful other half, Amanda Satterthwaite, who has collaborated with me on travel stories as well as the behind-the-scenes running of the Lucire business, thank you deeply and profoundly—I’m grateful you always have my back.
It’s been quite a journey from those early days, and here we are, a quarter of a century later. Thank you, everyone.
* ‘What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.’
Jack Yan is founder and publisher of Lucire.