Interview With Eric Maggiori, Founder Avant Magazine
Eric Maggiori just launched his first edition of Avant Magazine. As a fanatic collector of American workwear for many years, this magazine was a natural next step. You can read and see more of his collection in the previous article Meet the Collector here.
To celebrate the launch of the Avant magazine I interviewed Eric about the mag, which you can read here below. In the interview are also some sneak pages included. Big bravo Eric with this milestone!
Eric Maggiori, founder Avant Magazine.
LJ: Can you give a brief introduction about Avant magazine?
EM: As you know, I’ve been collecting vintage clothing for the past 15 years. I’ve also been fascinated by the history behind every clothing. When I first bought vintage rock t-shirts, I wanted to know everything about the band, about the guy who did the design, about the year, the fabric… Then I did the same for skateboarding items, and about ten years ago I started getting interested into American workwear and military clothing. I bought a lot (too much), collected, tried to learn a lot about. And at the same time, I’m also a journalist. I’m editor in chief for a soccer magazine here in France called So Foot, founded by talented entrepreneur Franck Annese. So I was like : “I am a journalist and I have a passion for vintage clothing. I should do a magazine about vintage clothing !”. And this is how the idea was born. That was three years ago…
LJ: Can you tell a bit about the idea, concept of the magazine?
EM: I love to tell stories. And this is what made the huge success of So Foot and all our other magazines (Society, So Foot Club, So Film) : to know how to tell stories. And vintage is all about stories ! Each garment has a story to tell. Every brand, every company, every fabric. When I’m wearing jeans, I want to know the history of these jeans. But also the history of the brand, the history of denim, of rivets, of zippers, of selvedge, why this and not that…So this is what I wanted to share with Avant: to give importance to the historical background. This is definitely not a fashion magazine. It’s more like an historical and artistic book. It explains how vintage clothing influenced today’s society. Each issue will be focused on one particular theme. The first issue is about American Workwear. I called it an “anthology”. And for the next issues, we will explore military clothing, french workwear, leather, skateboarding, western clothing, rock… Japanese magazines like Mono, Lightning, Free Easy, they all are very good but 1/ they are more focused on style, on details, and 2/ they are in Japanese… so you can’t read them unless you are Japanese ahah.
LJ: What kind of content can people expect in Avant?
EM: All the content that you can find in a magazine : interviews, stories, portraits, portfolio… In the first issue, we interviewed collectors, dealers, historians, such as Larry McKaughan, Brit Eaton, Viktor Fredback, Andrew Phelps, Rin Tanaka…We spent a few days with denim hunter Bryan Kahtava on the roads in Colorado, we explained the history of the Gold Rush, portrayed Jacob Davis the inventor of the rivet, traced the history of Stifel brand, studied the influence of workwear into today’s fashion, and talked to entrepreneurs such as Josh Sirlin and Michael Paradise who gave old workwear brands (Black Bear Brand and The Stronghold) a second life. I also published a directory of workwear brands: more than 300 antique workwear brand classified by name, date, city of birth…It took me over 6 months to do it!
LJ: You are a passionate and active collector of vintage workwear with an amazing collection. Is this also one of the cornerstones of the mag? And will you share your collection in the magazine too?
EM: Yes. I shared some pieces of my collection in the magazine, in a portfolio called “Private Collection”. There are 15 pieces, some of the best of my collection. Stifel jacket, miner’s jacket, pull-over shirts… The pictures were made by Gauthier Borsarello and my very talented artistic director Camille Gressier. She also did all the layouts and imagined the artistic direction of the magazine.
LJ: As you’re based in Paris, France, is the magazine only written in French or also English? And is the magazine available worldwide?
EM: The magazine is only written in english. It was a tough decision because I am French and I love all the possibilities that french language can offer. So everything was written in French. I wrote like 75% of the magazine, and the rest was written by journalists I’m working with at So Foot. We did all the layouts in French, and the plan was to print the magazine both in french and in english. But then I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print the magazine. I had hundreds of contributors but only 10-15% were french people. The rest was from America, Hong Kong, Japan, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia…So I decided to print it only in english, for the international market and also for economical reason. And yes, the magazine will be available worldwide. Libraires and concept stores. It’s already in Paris, London, Lisbonne, and it’s going to be available in America, Japan, and the rest of Europe in march. And of course, you can buy it online on our website, theavantmag.com.
LJ: The cover of the first edition is made by artist Mark Maggiori, your brother, can you share some background info it?
EM: Yes, Mark is based in LA for ten years now and he’s one of the most talented Western painters right now. He just won in February the prize for Best cowboy painting of the year at the Masters of the American West in Autry Museum, LA. At the same time, I had this idea of doing a painting for the front cover of AVANT magazine. So I asked him and he said yes. First, we wanted to take an antique picture of American miners and do a painting of it. But we couldn’t find the right picture, with the right light. So Mark asked a friend of his, Dane, who owns the hair salon The Westerner in LA. He dressed with a wabash Stifel jacket and some Stifel overalls, Mark took the picture and then he did the painting. He didn’t tell me how long it took him. I just saw the final result when it was done and I was so happy about it, because this is exactly what I expected.
LJ: How often can we expect a new edition of Avant?
EM: It will be a biannual magazine. So twice a years. I hope the next one will be ready for September 2019 (maybe October?), and then the third one in February 2020.
LJ: What can people expect in the future of Avant magazine?
EM: To discover more and more stories. It’s not 100% sure, but the next issue will probably be about military clothing. I already did some great interviews for the next one and have a lot of ideas in mind. I would also love to do some videos, little documentaries, also filmed interviews… That can be really great.
LJ: Last, but not least, how can people get their hands on a copy?
EM: As it takes some time to place the magazine worldwide, right now the easiest way is to order it online on theavantmag.com. You can also order a print of the front cover ! Then, you can find the list of the stockists here : https://theavantmag.com/stockists . And the list will be updated every day, with new librairies all around the world. And this is just the beginning !
Get your copy here: https://theavantmag.com