When Campaign asked me to review a new magazine aimed at ’young,
sassy, tuned-in sort of chicks’, I was petrified I would be found
I was even more worried when I was told the subject of my piece was to
be the relaunch of the 60s magazine Nova - after all, I am a 70s
Images of cheesecloth, headscarves and terrible perms immediately sprung
to mind and I realised that this could prove even more difficult than I
But Nova promises ’a different kind of fashion magazine’ with ’no
So I, for one, was willing to give it a go.
I was hoping to get some insight into the relaunch of this 60s magazine
from the opening editorial. But oh no. What I got was ten facetious
multiple choice questions on diet, feminism and relationships which were
supposed to make me realise how lucky I was to have found this source of
wisdom and individuality. It was almost enough to make me throw it in
the bin with the other glossy mags telling us how to live our wonderful
Fortunately, I had to turn the page and read on for the sake of
Campaign, because the patronising opening gambit was to be a mere
The writing is strong and original. There is everything from a piece on
’Cunning Stunts’ (yes, that’s supposed to be a Spoonerism) to rubber in
the bathroom and ’Trannyspotting’.
But there are also some serious articles on women’s take on contemporary
issues, the Harlem ’ghetto’ and an analysis of the state of revolution
in this millennium.
An interview with the French starlet Vanessa Paradis shows how
interviews should be done - none of that PR-generated mush but a real
dig around someone’s head. Lovely.
Yes, on the fashion front, there is the ubiquitous bikini piece but Nova
gets away with it because it’s Stephanie Seymour strutting her
A piece on customised jeans proved inspiring (if you like that kind of
thing) and the take on the current 80s look was given an edge with the
use of Oscar-nominated Chloe Sevigny. However, using computer-generated
images to showcase the latest designer frocks was going a little too far
- these girls have nothing on Jessica Rabbit.
Nova is more than a run-of-the-mill fashion magazine. While it has all
the necessary aspirational qualities, it is also realistic, stimulating
and thought-provoking. For once, here is a magazine that is
non-judgmental - the reader is treated as an individual instead of being
bombarded with dictats on why our lives should be better.
I think Nova will succeed and I am not just saying that to make me a
sassy, tuned-in sort of chick.
Sassy, tuned-in Lucy Meredith is the marketing director of Leagas
Publisher: IPC Cover price pounds 2.60
Target circulation: 80,000
Full-page colour ad: pounds 9,000
Advertisers include: Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Harvey Nichols, Seiko.