With three different stories but with the same love for the printing matter, Sarah, Haydée and Sofia are the brains and the hearts of The Skirt Chronicles. Born from a strong friendship and nice chats about dreams, fashion and print, the independent magazine explores different cultures, appeals different generations, and represents the feminine voice making sure to include everyone. Discover more about the timeless and unique volumes that you will read over and over again.
Before starting to talk about your Volume II of The Skirt Chronicles, we would love to know a little bit more about your story. Who are you, Sarah, Haydée and Sofia individually?
Sofia is American but has lived in Paris for the past nine years. She started out working for magazines, as this has been a dream of hers since she was a little girl. After graduating, she applied for an internship at Givenchy, which led her to conduct a two-year project concerning the brand’s heritage. She has since created a consulting agency for fashion brands along with her partner Christophe Victoor.
Pursuing her passion for images and fashion, Sarah started working for different magazines in Paris. Now working independently, she conducts inspiration research for brands and works as a stylist and art director. After some time working for the cinema industry, Haydée decided to finally give writing a real chance and started collaborating with different magazines. Over time, she also began working as an editorial consultant, while always keeping time for her personal projects. She is currently working on her first non-fiction book.
How, when and where did you all three meet? How’s your relationship evolved from the beginning till now?
It is actually Haydée’s little brother, Pierre, who connects us all. He first introduced Sarah and Sofia, who became close friends. When Haydée came back to Paris after a few years abroad, we all started to hang out together. We also started talking more and more about magazines, publications and print until we decided to create our own: The Skirt Chronicles. Since having started to work together, our professional relationship has evolved but we never want this side to take over what we cherish most: our friendship. We love that what starts out as a Skirt meeting can easily turn into a night out with your close friends.
On Souvenirs and Drapery Photographed by Marie Déhé and Styled by Marion Jolivet 2.jpg
On Souvenirs and Drapery, photographed by Marie Déhé and styled by Marion Jolivet.
You come from three different backgrounds, each of you collaborating with different publications with your own diversified activities. How did you decide to join forces and your own printed matter together?
That is exactly true, we all come from different backgrounds. But there was a driving force between us three and that was our love for printed matter. We collaborated and continue to do so with different publications in our own way. The Skirt Chronicles was a desire within each of us, a space that we felt did not exist within the publications that we were already working with. We are inspired by one another and the different characteristics of us three bring a lot to this project.
Maybe, this is one of those things we wouldn't have or couldn't have done alone. It was only going to be at its best if there were the three of us working together. Haydée knows she would have never taken this chance of launching a publication alone — or it would have been a very boring one with only texts in black and white.
What are the inspirations and references behind this project? What does stimulate you and how do you combine and find the right balance between the three of you?
Each of us has her own sphere of references, of course, but they do intertwine more often than not. It seems we gather a good amount of similarities as well as differences. That is what allows us to produce coherent yet diverse content. Initially, we were inspired by a few different references that Sarah brought over to Haydée’s apartment one afternoon. Sarah had found a vintage magazine called Skirt, with sensual photos of women partially dressed in high grass fields. We related to them and to their expressions and poses. After working together for nearly two years, we know how to divide the work between us based on our role in the magazine. And in terms of content, each of us is responsible for the production of our ideas and those of our contributors.
Once created the trio, what are the motivations behind The Skirt Chronicles? Could you explain to us what do you want to communicate with this title?
It has something to do with reflecting a woman’s voice and speaking from our generational point of view. We are three women who founded a magazine making sure never to exclude anyone.
Variation Photographed by Tim Elkaïm and Styled by Sarah De Mavaleix.tif.jpg
Variation, photographed by Tim Elkaïm and styled by Sarah de Mavaleix.
You have already published the Volume II, but what were the biggest challenges you had to face when you began?
It was all new when we began, so everything was a challenge: from choosing the paper to knowing what was the best edit for each piece. The biggest challenges were establishing the business aspect of the project as well as learning the ins and outs of the printing world. As explained, the three of us come from editorial backgrounds, whether be it writing or producing photos. However, the world of printing is definitely something we all are still learning about. It is an exciting part of the project. We are very lucky to embark on this adventure with the talented printing house Deux Ponts, which has existed in France since 1935.
An article of Volume II focuses on French style and how has it become a branded matter worldwide. You criticise how many people are focusing on acting and dressing in a French way, how wanna be bloggers post pictures of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot on Instagram, etc. It almost seems that you’re a bit upset. How have you translated these feelings into texts and images? How can we see this through the pages of the magazine?
The origin of that text was indeed a commentary on how many pictures of Eric Rohmer’s movies, and especially La Collectionneuse, were shared on Instagram. Because Haydée is named after the character in that movie, it became a running joke. We do realise the irony and how there is something quite Rohmerian about The Skirt Chronicles. However, what the pages of Volume II hopefully do translate is a multiplicity of the cultures we are interested in. We were upset about the fact that style was more celebrated than cinema itself (in these Instagram posts). That’s why Haydée went back and studied different sources to see if, indeed, Eric Rohmer had an interested in that so-called style; what we found is that he didn’t care for it one bit.
We know that you are very determined and you know exactly whom you want to work with. How do you choose your contributors, artists and writers?
We don’t always know whom we want to work with! At the beginning of each volume, the three of us have a meeting to present our ideas. We then decide together on what seems like a good fit. Our ambition is to create a collaborative platform where we can join forces with people we admire. We are very lucky to count on so many of our friends as contributors. And there are still those we haven’t been featured yet. Also, there are some contributors that we didn’t know prior to working with them and now have become friends as well, so we are happy about our community of contributors getting bigger and bigger.
Temae by Isa Killoran Photographed by Adrianna Glaviano.jpg
Temae by Isa Killoran, photographed by Adrianna Glaviano.
The contents go through literature, fashion, politics, lifestyle, etc. But how would you describe in few words the aesthetic you choose?
Our content might seem quite eclectic but for us, it is simply that nothing goes without the other. We are not a fashion magazine; we are a publication that aims at reflecting and celebrating different cultures and generations. And when your ambition is to reflect on culture, the aesthetic we choose is one that might look like discreet but that is, in fact, very precise. The joy of The Skirt Chronicles is that we do not feel obligated to adhere to any strict guidelines concerning content. We cherish this freedom and aim to feature many different types of work. Our aesthetic is our feeling and, for now, that has worked quite well!
As you said, The Skirt Chronicles celebrates diverse cultures and generations and it reflects a feminine voice but doesn’t t exclude anyone. From the response the Volume I had, do you think the project has a more specific target audience or would you consider it is actually open and understood by everyone?
When we receive pictures through Instagram of readers with their Skirt, it is indeed quite a mixed audience. We are really happy to be received and celebrated by many diverse people. We think there is inherently a feminine appeal to the magazine but that does not mean they are the only ones. It is also really touching that our publication surpasses many different generations. Sofia’s godfather wrote her an email the other week saying that he felt like he could really understand and hear our generation through Volume II.
What makes this project contemporary and appealing to buy?
The Skirt Chronicles’ volumes are set in their time, yet not reduced to a season. We want to produce content that is atemporal, we want our audience to be able to pick up their Skirt in two years and feel this piece or that portfolio are still relevant. That’s what makes us contemporary. The Skirt Chronicles has a timeless appeal that ensures readers will want to keep and reread their copy. We also thought a lot about the size and wearability of the object when designing it. The small size ensures easiness when reading on the go and the laminated cover protects your copy from spills.
On Souvenirs and Drapery Photographed by Marie Déhé and Styled by Marion Jolivet.jpg
On Souvenirs and Drapery, photographed by Marie Déhé and styled by Marion Jolivet.
The website is also beautiful and it seems to be in support to the print version. What can you tell us more about the online content? What importance are you giving it and what is its purpose? Are you planning to develop it including maybe more matters than an offline version can allow?
Our website is indeed a support to the publication itself. We want it to be as simple as possible for our readers to find us through our stockists, or simply order it online. We believe we shouldn’t try to make it something else just for the sake of it. When we find an online presence that is suitable to what Skirt is, we will go for it, but it cannot be rushed.
Why choosing to stay independent?
Independent is a state of mind. We chose to launch the first volume with no advertising whatsoever because we felt the first issue of a publication had to be free of any outside imagery. In Volume II, we were proud to have advertisements from our friends’ companies and we will keep evolving with this issue with Volume III.
What are the plans for the future? Any idea about Volume III?
We are currently producing Volume III, which will be released in June 2018. We’re cooking up something full of new authors with whom we are so happy to be working with, new subjects to address and a focus on the Atlantic Ocean.
How Deep Is Your Love by Sofia Nebiolo.jpg
How Deep is Your Love by Sofia Nebiolo.
Luna Paiva Photographed by Martin Pisotti.jpg
Luna Paiva, photographed by Martin Pisotti.
Monte Argentario Photographed by Gillian Garcia and Styled by Sarah De Mavaleix 2.tif.jpg
Monte Argentario photographed by Gillian Garcia and styled by Sarah de Mavaleix.
By Freja Nielsen.jpg
By Freja Nielsen.
By Hélèné Lauth.jpg
By Hélèné Lauth.
Monte Argentario Photographed by Gillian Garcia and Styled by Sarah De Mavaleix.jpg
Monte Argentario, photographed by Gillian Garcia and styled by Sarah de Mavaleix.
Monte Argentario Photographed by Gillian Garcia and Styled by Sarah De Mavaleix.tif.jpg
Monte Argentario, photographed by Gillian Garcia and styled by Sarah de Mavaleix.
Temae by Isa Killoran Photographed by Adrianna Glaviano 2.jpg
Temae by Isa Killoran, photographed by Adrianna Glaviano.