Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Interview with Hiro of Union Magazine

A couple of weeks ago, Hiro, the creative director and editor of Union Magazine in Tokyo, contacted me about stocking Union in Audrey Grace. After seeing the magazine, it seemed like a perfect fit! The first issue is filled with beautiful editorials, insightful interviews and amazing photography. It reminds me of a Japanese version of Lula. Hiro is a successful stylist himself, having previously assisted the editor in chief of Lula, Leith Clark. He edits the magazine alongside his friend and fellow stylist, the editor in chief, Chiharu Dodo. The pair seems like a dream team. In an interview, they mentioned that it took them six years to come up with the concept and six months to produce. The first issues features the work of Claire Shilland, Marie-Fleur Charlesworth, Marie Hochhaus, Katy Lassen, and the two editors themselves, among others. Union will be exclusively stocked at the Audrey Grace online shop which is launching mid-June. I believe we are the only US stockist of Union! If you can't wait to buy one, email me (jaxybeth@gmail.com) and I will sell you a copy! Enjoy my interview with Hiro below.

Tell me about your magazine. 
It’s simply about creating a beautiful magazine which is full of what we love. ‘Timelessness’ is a key word for the magazine and I always keep that in my head. What’s beautiful is always timeless. It transcends time, gender and national boundaries. Beautiful things made a long time ago but don’t necessarily look old-fashioned. We wanted to produce something which has that quality. Every time we think about images, pictures, layout and content, we always try to go back to our starting point and see if our material is made in our original Union way.

What do you love about living in Tokyo? What are your favorite shops and cafes?
Tokyo is quite convenient for shopping, there are so many clothes shops, and book stores.
I recommend DAIKANYAMA TSUTAYA BOOKS. It is very new huge book store, they have many vintage fashion magazine, and photography books as well. It is great inspiration for me. 

How did the idea for union come about? How did you find all of the photographers, 
I came to the idea by myself. But sometimes I can find ideas from photographs, romance, dreaming, and fragile things. Basically for the magazine, I always thinking about who would be the best  photographer for the editorial, so when I am impressed by a photograph I always remember the name of the photographer.

What are the plans for the second issue?
 I think there are still so many young, talented photographers and artists of the world, I want to find them. I have to introduce these talents through Union, and also use famous photographers.

Who is your favorite designer?
Miuccia Prada.

Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from romantic things, for example Franz Lisz's & Chopin's piano music, Leos Carax's movies, beautiful nature, people, the city, novels, travelling, etc..

What are your favorite films for fashion?
Les Amants du Pont-Neu by Leos Carax. 

What does the future look like for you? 
I'd like everyone to read Union. Then my life style would change. I would love to spend three months in NY, three months in London, and six months in Tokyo. I'd like to see more talented artists and travel the world. Union is not for money, it's for creation.

All photographs, from Union. 

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