A Sneak Of Avant Magazine Vol. 3
The first two editions of Avant magazine are out, and what a huge success it is! They’re a must read for everyone with an interest in the history of clothing, and in history in general. The two editions are shipped out all around the world. Now, publisher Eric Maggiori is already working on Vol. 3, so time to have a chat with him again to hear what we can expect in this upcoming issue.
The outcome of the chat is the interview here below which also includes some sneak pages of Vol. 3. Thanks Eric, and good luck with the last preparations!
Read more about Avant in previous articles here.
Eric Maggiori, Avant Magazine.
LJ: How is it going with Avant magazine? Can you tell a bit about the launch of the first two editions?
EM: Well, honestly, it’s going great. I just realized a few days ago that I only have less than 200 magazines remaining of the first issue! That’s crazy. I sell magazines every day on my website, I don’t even know how the customers find me, as I do no promotion! People from all over the world, it’s really exciting. I was also at Inspiration show LA in February, I brought with me more than 100 magazines and sold them all. I was sold out. So I’m really happy. I did two magazines, three with the upcoming one, without spending a euro, and with no ads in my books. So I’m very proud and also surprised, I didn’t expect such a good reaction from the people, as it’s very niche.
LJ: Are there some special Avant moments or reactions from people since the launch of the magazine which you want to share with us?
EM: Yes, I have a few stories that I’d love to share.
At Inspiration Show LA, some Japanese customers came to my booth. He didn’t know the magazine. So he looked at it and bought the first issue. One hour later, he came back and bought the second issue. One hour later, he came back with a friend, and his friend bought both issues. The day after, he came back and told me: ”Yesterday evening, I read all your books. I love them. I want to buy ten for my friends in Japan.” That was really nice.
When I released Avant #1, I had a lot of orders on my website. Among them, one was from a woman named Jeni Britton Bauer. I Googled it and found that she was the successful founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which is actually my favorite place to eat ice creams when I am in LA! So I sent her a message like: ”Thank you very much for buying my book, but let me tell you that I eat your ice creams every time I go to LA. And a few months later, I actually met her when she was in Paris!
A few days ago, a woman bought Avant on my website. She is from Wheeling, a city that is well known by workwear fans for being the city where the Stifel brand was founded. And guess what? This lady is the descendant of J.L. Stifel, founder of the brand…Crazy!
LJ: When can we expect the next issue? And what will be the theme of this issue?
EM: The next issue will be released in September. And it will be about French Workwear. After exploring America (American workwear, American Militaria), it was time to talk about my country. And French workwear is fascinating.
LJ: Can you already give us a sneak peek of the upcoming content?
EM: Of course. As always: interviews, stories, antique pictures, and a lot of vintage clothing! I interviewed Tom Gruat, who is a world-wide reference when it comes to French workwear. There is also an interview with Denis Bruna, chief curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) of Paris. You will learn about the history of the coal miners in the north of France, about the French firemen and their historical outfits, about the specific French fabrics like Moleskine and indigo linen. There are also some highlights on iconic French brands like Le Mont Saint Michel and Belle Jardinière. Also, some interviews with Japanese dealers explain why French workwear is special. And that’s just a sneak peek…
LJ: And is there one major highlight which you already want to share? Something people must read?!
EM: Tom Gruat’s interview is the longest article I ever published in Avant 18 pages! And it worth it.
LJ: Was it different to work with French people for this issue?
EM: Honestly, yes. I worked with American people (collectors, buyers, historians…) for the first two issues, and it was always so easy and smooth. American people, but also English people, even Japanese people, are always very excited, motivated and proud when you contact them and ask them to share their passion and their knowledge. But French people, it’s… different ahah. And I can say it, because I am French myself! But everything is always more complicated when you have to deal with french people.. They want to read what you wrote about them, they don’t want to show their face in a picture…Relationships are more…complex.
LJ: How do you select the topics for each edition, and collectors, and so on? Are they mostly coming from your own network?
EM: Well, I try to be as complete as possible on one theme. That’s why I call my books ”Anthologies”. So I chose different topics that might be interesting for everyone. If the theme is American Workwear, I want people, once they have read the 196 pages, to have a global vision of American workwear and to understand its heritage. Same thing for French Workwear. After reading the whole book, I hope that people from all over the world may understand France, its rural roots, its history, its society. About the collectors, they are not necessarily from my network. Some of them are, but some of them are complete strangers. When I don’t know them, I contact them on Instagram, and they are always very nice and happy to share their passion.
LJ: How do you pick each theme each time? Is this just coming from your own interest?
EM: Well, I started with American workwear because it’s the theme I know the most. My vintage collection is 90% American workwear, so that was logical. After American workwear, I did American Militaria because workwear and militaria are linked. I also have in my personal collection some amazing pieces of American militaria, so I wanted to talk about that. After those first two, I had many other ideas for the third one. But I decided to work on French workwear because it was important for me to talk about my country and its history. France has a very rich cultural heritage.
LJ: Affects the current Covid-19 situation the publishing of Avant?
EM: No! I did all the interviews and all the stories before the lockdown in France. So during the lockdown, I had time to write all the articles and to do a lot of researches. So it will not affect the publishing of the third issue at all. However, the Covid-19 situation was a problem for sending the orders, because the Post Office is France was closed and when it re-opened, it was only possible to send magazines in France. So I had to wait until the end of lockdown, on May 11th, to re-open international orders. But now it’s ok!
LJ: Next to your own website, the magazine (it’s more a book), is also available through stores worldwide, right? Can you name a few of your retail partners?
EM: Yes, I am sold in book shops, but also in some very cool vintage shops all around the world. To name a few: Mister Freedom (Los Angeles), Ratta Monta (Seoul), Whitefeather Mfg (Austria), Redwings London (London), Matin Antique (Toyama), Bob Chatt Vintage Productions (Huntington Beach), Rare Mags (Stockport), stuf I f – fine goods (Düsseldorf), Signal Garments (Tokyo), Lawford (Tokyo), Albinos Vintage Store (Taiwan), CKX Studio (Amsterdam), Walpurgis (Lausanne), Denim Heads (Prague)…
LJ: Do you already set the theme of issue number 4? And if so, can you give us a small hint already?
EM: Yes, issue number 4 will be very special. It will be about Stifel’s clothing. An entire book about Stifel. Nobody has ever done it before. It will be epic.
LJ: Can we also expect more next to your mags as an Avant vintage fair for example? I mean, this could be a great option, and natural next step too. To create a sort of Avant clubhouse where everyone can meet each other, and buy all those vintage stuff?
EM: That would awesome and of course, I think about many things to develop Avant, to make it grow. But my major problem to do so is a lack of time. My daily job is editor in chief for a famous soccer magazine here in France, called So Foot. Avant is a personal project that I’m doing on my own, along with my artistic director. It’s already hard to find time between my job and my family (and I just had a baby) to do the magazine. For example, this third issue took me almost a year to achieve! But of course, I would love to do more. More videos would be great, and an Avant clubhouse would be an amazing idea too. Little by little…
Oh, before we end, for the very first time, the upcoming magazine will be published in French and in English. First two issues were only printed in English. This one will be in French for the French readers, and in English for international readers : )
Pre-order your Avant Vol. 3 copy here: https://theavantmag.com