French photographer Romain Sellier dreamt for a long time of running his own magazine. When moving to London three years ago, he finally gained the courage and thought, ‘’let’s try!’’ He developed a first issue based on admired artists and, unexpectedly, it sold out extremely quickly. Sentimental is not only about fashion, it’s a more humble publication that inspires and lets us be emotional. Romain says, “tear the pages, strip the magazine off.” The idea is to create a physical moodboard from its pages. The second issue is already out – it seems that Sentimental has come to stay!
Tell us a bit about yourself, what’s your story?
I'm a French fashion photographer who moved to London three years ago, to have a bit of a creativity challenge. I've always been a big admirer of British magazines and photographers. There is something quite free but very demanding here that I thought would be good for me.
You are a fashion photographer and now also a publisher. How was the idea of the magazine born?
I’ve been dreaming of running a magazine for ages, but I was shy and thought there were already too many great ones. But London has this power that makes you want to do things, and I also discovered a new current of publications, less glossy, less fashion oriented, more humble, which I related to – and I thought, ‘’let's try!’’ Maybe just for one issue and that's it. But the issue 1 sold out super quickly, so I decided to do a second one.
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Sentimental is based on art and personal stories rather than fashion, even if it includes some of that as well. What inspired you to do this kind of magazine?
As I was saying, I wanted a more human approach, something not necessarily very conceptual or trendy but more emotional (even if I love and admire very conceptual works). I also thought it was coherent with the feeling some people of the industry of fashion and photography have – a desire to go a bit slower, deeper, and a bit more permanent, not necessarily so dependent on fashion seasons. And, more simply, I am just a sentimental person.
Are you inspired by any other magazines?
When I arrived in London I discovered a few magazines that I felt close to, like Hot and Cool, Noon, Re-edition, Buffalo Zine. And from other eras, I did love Facade and The Face!
Tell us a bit about your choice of binding Sentimental with wire-o-binding.
The idea was to create a physical moodboard, so readers could tear off the pages and pin them on the wall. I have so many files in my laptop with so many references and I never look back at them… I really wanted a hard copy, something more present, less ephemeral. I also liked the humility of the fact that we were clearly saying: tear off the pages, strip the magazine off.
In April, you launched the issue in Berlin. What made you choose it as the first city to get to touch the new issue?
There are a lot of German contributors in Sentimental for some reason, and I also sold quite a lot of copies online to Germany. I thought, ‘’let's try to meet these people.’’ Plus I have very very dear friends in Berlin that are DJs, like Cabine, and graphic designers, and I love their sets.
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How’s been the response from your readers?
I think I am being very lucky. I receive a lot of mails from art students saying they love the mag and they feel that it's the kind of publication they were waiting for. Publishing is hard work but it can be quite rewarding.
Are you a big team, or are you doing it mostly by yourself?
I'm quite lonely during the process but I collaborate with very talented graphic designers (a different person for each issue: David Uzquiza from Buffalo Zine for issue 1, Corbin Mahieu for the last one and Bruce Usher for the next one) and I've been extremely lucky in that respect.
How do you choose the photographers, writers, and illustrators to be published in Sentimental?
Most of them are artists whom I've been following for a while, and a few are recent discoveries. I love poetry and think it's unfairly represented. As for illustration, I am quite a newbie in that field but it's growing on me!
Do you accept submissions?
I receive a lot of emails every day, I honestly didn't expect that at all. I try to look at everything, and the quality of the work I receive is impressive, but I rarely take submissions. Sentimental is theme-based and I like to choose contributors with different styles, with something super personal in their work, so I usually have planned this a lot in advance. But I'm still open to be surprised by photographers I don't know. So keep sending me your work!
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