Its not every day that a new magazine hits the news stands. You need a lot of confidence in the value of your ideas or have a strong belief that everyone else in the magazine game is failing to deliver to get up enough gumption to start a new one. Its a difficult time for even the most highly acclaimed publications with most titles working hard just to stay alive, so why on earth would anyone launch a new title in 2016?
Mary Hessing and husband Toon Lauwen have been around the magazine industry in the Netherlands for decades and believe there is life in the old girl yet. Their conviction has led to WOTH, a new magazine on design - in all its various forms. Hessing and Lauwen turned to popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to pay for the creation and printing of the first issue but expect that the excitement around the new title will lead to a loyal subscription base. While published in the Netherlands, WOTH is determined to be an internationally relevant magazine. Dutch and English versions hit the news stand at the beginning of September and have shown that an independent voice is always a lot more exciting than titles released by global publishing houses. The magazine is all about bringing a real design element to its audience, with input from a number of Dutch industry greats like Job Smeets of Studio Job, Maarten Baas and Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijing's of Scholten & Baijing's.
With a desire to cover not only design but also architecture, fashion, food, homewares and travel, Editor in chief Mary Hessing has the work cut out for her small editorial team but she is convinced that with their experience and the support of international professionals like Wim Pijbes, the director Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Iwan Baan a photographer for Herzog de Meuron, OMA, the New York Times and Domus, the magazine will be able to present a unique insight into these wildly different design disciplines.
The first issue is of course jam-packed with wonderful stories on hot new players in the design world like Sabine Marcelis along with established names such as visual artist Ton Hoogerwerf. Marcelis is an up-and-coming Dutch born designer who grew up in New Zealand. Having been New Zealand's designer of the Year in 2001 she went on to study at Design Academy Eindhoven and is now based in Rotterdam. Represented by important galleries across Europe including Mint Gallery in London, Gallery Bensimon in Paris and Victor Hunt Gallery in Brussels and with international clients such as Céline on her books, Marcelis is a star in the making.
The feature on the flamboyant visual artist Ton Hoogerhoff, who goes by the name of Ton of Holland, reveals the variety of personalities and styles that WOTH is keen to cover. With well known Dutch journalists, photographers, and stylists in it’s preliminary editorial team, the magazine will deliver a fresh and honest look at the state of Dutch design but will also be bringing people and places to its pages from around the globe. The team of Rob Jansen, Swan Lian Kwee, Jack Meijers, Anita Bijlsma, Rachel Lancashire, Anne-Sophie Markus have all formerly worked with WOTH's editor Mary Hessing on Eigen Huis & Interior, More Than Classic or Libelle magazines, so the team has a vast amount of experience across the fields of interiors, design and fashion. Hessing's husband and publisher of WOTH, Toon Lauwen, is the author of 14 books on architecture and design and lends his particular expertise to the group. Having established his own creative content agency Lauwen Projects, he is also well-versed on communication strategy, branding and digital media.
"WOTH Wonderful Things magazine is about real people. People like us who like beautiful things, who are not superficial, who lead creative lives, who can’t stop making things themselves. It shows how we live, what we feel passionate about, which cities we visit. WOTH is full of interviews, beautiful photos, insiders’ tips and personal stories".
Mary Hessing, Editor of WOTH Wonderful Things magazine
Hessing and Lauwen live and work in an old milk factory they renovated in 2005 and which is so spacious that it seemed totally appropriate for it to be used for photo shoots and creative meetings. Once a year, during Designkwartier The Hague, it becomes a department store with art and design stuff that has inspired the couple during the course of the year. That event already had the name WOTH so the magazine's title was a natural continuation of that and it goes by the same guiding principle - quality must always come first.
The launch of the magazine was held in early September at Arita House - the temporary exhibition space in Amsterdam for Scholten & Baijing's porcelain project 2016/ Arita (you can see Design daily's extended post on the project here). Within the formality of a classic early 20th century building, the exhibition of porcelain objects by 16 leading designers from around the world was the perfect place to launch a magazine like WOTH. The Arita project and WOTH have many similarities with both indirectly reflecting the talent of Dutch design and its far reaching influence while showcasing the inventiveness of global contemporary design.
The images shown above represent a random selection from the first issue of WOTH to whet the appetite. Features include profiles on the latest work by Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk, and the Masterly (The Dutch in MiIano) exhibition held during Milan Design Week along with a look into Formafantasma's beautiful Lexus show An Encounter with Anticipation. Other features include a personal look into the worlds of Hannes van Severen from Muller van Severen, fashion designer Ronald van de Kemp, Ellie Uytenbroek from Exactitudes and Michelin starred chef Sergio Herman
For more on WOTH magazine and to subscribe, go to their website here.