Terry Jones, i-D’s creator and editor, who started the publication as a punk fanzine in the early ‘80s, has gone to great lengths to maintain the founding principles as the media landscape shifts.
Ironically, i-D has long been the most popular choice for offbeat fashion magazines. Efficiently working to stay connected with the streets (“real people” in “real clothes”) rather than becoming another industry rag, i-D has made a name for itself by contextualizing trends for a more diverse audience. Terry Jones, i-D’s creator and editor, started the publication as a punk fanzine in the early ‘80s. Since then Jones has gone to great lengths to maintain the founding principles as the platform continues to transform.
I was recently assigned a project where I was to choose any publication and trace its evolving aesthetic. While I will say the fact that i-D has only been around for thirty years (as compared to Vogue’s 100+) may have played a role in my decision, I was mainly attracted to their unique method of documenting rather than forcefully creating. Their steady development acts as a social marker for the times and their covers play out in a similar fashion.
Tracing the covers from 1980 to pre-spring 2014, the most recent featuring Ms. Edie Campbell offers a fair representation of not only what was happening in the fashion world, but the whole of pop culture. From the exposed curves of ‘80s-era bombshells to a pre-pubescent Kate Moss and her dangling limbs circa 1993, i-D was the first magazine (along with now-defunct The Face) to truly hold up the mirror to what it saw.