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Thoughts as we reach our 26th anniversary

Founder and publisher Jack Yan has a few thoughts as Lucire turns 26—and he’s not going to retell the story about the day we started
October 20, 2023/10.30

Denise Richards photographed by Andrew Matusik
Andrew Matusik
Above: We never stopped print publishing since we diversified into the medium in 2004, but it took eight years before we started offering print-on-demand editions from Vertia. Denise Richards, photographed by Andrew Matusik, covered that issue.
I know it’s almost traditional and expected that I’ll write something on October 20 as Lucire has another anniversary, and then I’ll talk about how everything started on the night I uploaded the home page and kicked things off.

However, it’s the 26th anniversary, and after the heights of the 25th last year, it’s a bit of an anticlimax.

Instead, this year, other than a very brief earlier announcement about a potential UK printer, I want to remark on how we’ve regularly pioneered. The website story I’ve told. Then we took a web brand into print in 2004, the first time, other than Yahoo! Internet Life, that this happened, earning us some press coverage in Women’s Wear Daily, and TVNZ here.

In 2012 we launched, with Vertia, on-demand print editions for international buyers. While expensive—New Zealand is just too far away and postage really hurts our sales—I only realized recently that many others have since followed this model, although they did not have a history of offset-printed mass-market editions alongside. But it is nice to see so many different takes on this from colleagues all over the world availing themselves of the technology.
It was a surprise to find this week that fashion webzine Hint appears frozen in 2020. Lee Carter, Hint’s founder and editor, was a person I admired and I am sad to note that he and I never were close colleagues because Lucire had a New York editor whom Lee regarded as exceptionally rude. Lee was right, mind, and that person was asked to leave. I was way too trusting in the early days.

Hint started soon after we did, so obviously it was on my radar. It was probably the one New York fashion website that helped mainstream the online medium in the 1990s, since its ‘Chic Happens’ column took on a life of its own. Both Hint and the earlier (1995) Lumière were the well designed fashion sites at the time and gave us a lot of food for thought about how the medium could work. I hope this is only a hiatus for Hint.
Meanwhile, check out Lone Wolf Magazine, which we’ll link from our directory soon. Its tagline is ‘Fashion + Philosophy of Life for Hungry Minds’, and it has well written and thought-out pieces on feminism, fashion, career and culture, driven by a skilful and passionate editor-in-chief in Natalia Borecka. Yes, as a cis het male I do want to read about feminism—and all the better if it’s through a cultural lens that I don as publisher of Lucire.

And finally, there is still a handful of stories from the 1990s that we’ll upload to the server. These were stories that were removed because hard drive space was more limited in those days. And we often removed the poorer ones, so the ones sitting recovered from old CD-ROMs are not exactly great examples of journalism. But we do have a long history, longer than even Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar on the web, and how fun it was to do all this—without realizing at the time that we were pioneering or breaking new ground. We did it because something deep down told us it was the right thing, something that anyone who has experienced the creative impulse has felt. The early stuff might not be great, but without it, we wouldn’t have the depth and quality in our print features today.
Jack Yan is founder and publisher of Lucire.

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