I’ve often thought that when you can look back on an event in your
post-pubescent life and say ’oh yeah, I did that 20 years ago’, then
it’s a sign that you’re getting on.
So I was shocked to hear that The Face is 20 years old. ’Surely not,’
you cry, ’I remember buying that 100th special issue only three or four
years ago, don’t you?’ Sorry. That was 1988.
As a music-obsessed spotty teenager, I was pretty chuffed with its
It was so much cooler than the other music press - and the print didn’t
turn your hands black. Even when it evolved from a purely music-slanted
publication in to a style bible, I didn’t mind. It played a formative
part in my own personal development.
I distinctly remember reading a great article about Terry Gilliam’s
struggle to make Brazil and deciding there and then that I wanted a job
like that, and I’ve spent the following years chasing that particular
At college, we design students would refer to it in reverential
And no matter how scuzzy a graphics student’s bedroom was, their copies
of The Face were always neatly stacked in proper order so you could see
those little squashed images of the covers on the spine. So, how’s the
old rag keeping these days?
Well, if the 20th birthday special edition is anything to go by, there’s
life in the old girl yet. It’s a credit to The Face’s reputation that it
can pull in some big names to contribute to this issue, which comes
lovingly wrapped. I’m happy to see good articles covering the whole of
today’s style culture and not just loads of fashion spreads.
Talking of fashion, the first few pages feel more like Vogue, with Louis
Vuitton in The Face. What’s that about? Oh yeah, of course, it’s the 80s
revival. But, once you trawl past the Gucci ads, there are some gems to
be had, although the naked girl in the sunglasses spread isn’t one of my
That said, it’s still the standard to which all its imitators aspire and
it’s always my first stop when I need to know what’s ’goin’ down’.
Hopefully we’ll all be around to celebrate The Face at 40. Happy
Publisher Emap Elan East
Full-page colour ad rate pounds 6,325
Cover price pounds 2.70
Advertisers include Versace, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Gucci, Morgan’s
Spiced, Chanel, Firetrap