Sarah Cristobal & V Magazine, The Interview

by Carmen Beunza,

Sarah Cristobal | itfashion.com

Sarah Cristobal has the multifaceted and shinny perspective of an editor who has a long journey  within the editorial field. From Style.com to Haper’s Bazaar to AOL to V Magazine,where is current editor.  Surrounded by creative figures like Stephen Gen, V Magazine´s founder or Carine Roitfeld, we wanted to discover her insight in fashion. itfashion.com chats with  her  about editing for V, about the pop culture and the present and future of fashion.

How is the magazine´s reader?

We’re known for being a glossy publication but V is also a great read. It’s a portal into the current state of pop. Who wouldn’t want to read about that?

Do you think fashion is more global now  or it remains something quite local?

Between live streaming, blogs, street style, the high-low trends, up-to-the-minute reviews, fashion is accessible to everyone now. I like how diplomatic it’s become. Fashion should be a tool to empower and not intimidate.

V Magazine is a fashion magazine, but it´s also an art, music or cinema magazine… This is due to you understand fashion as a cultural element or because you feel fashion is present in other Arts?

It’s definitely all connected. A designer is inspired by an artist who was inspired by a musical phenomenon and so on. There is certainly a lot of overlap at the moment between music and fashion. Look at all of the spring campaigns—Gaga for Versace, Rihanna for Balmain, Erykah Badu for Givenchy—pop stars are the ones to watch in the fashion world. We’ve been fortunate enough to have all of these incredible women and designers in V!

Do you think fashion today has changed a lot  compared to some past decades or what has changed is the way in which we cosume fashion?

I think there is an insatiable hunger for fashion today. Everyone wants the newest, shiniest thing and they want it right away. I have designer friends who create four collections a year plus consult on other brands. It’s crazy! In the same way that we want up to the minute news, a lot of people want up to the minute fashion. Which is why it is very smart for companies like Net-a-Porter to offer same day delivery. The way we consume information is different, the way we wear clothes is different.

Being editor at a  magazine like V Magazine must be quite complex, What do you have to take into account?

V has always been known for its fashion editorials. But lately, and I think this is a testament to the current state of the entertainment industry, it has been skewing very pop. So lately we have really gotten excited about working with some of the greatest pop acts on the planet. We think about who we want to approach and which teams to pair them with. Oftentimes our issues will have themes and we’ll try and pick artists that can work within a certain theme.

How is the selection of V Magazine´s covers? How do you select the main characters of your editorials and  articles?

We hold daily editorial meetings and are constantly discussing what is happening in pop culture. It’s a great team, everyone is super passionate and involved. Everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas. Ultimately, though, the decision is Stephen’s.

In terms of editing, What is more important, the image or the text?

We’re very visually driven, but we also love a good story. We don’t run into too many situations where one thing cancels out the other. Thankfully.

The big question: How to know what the public will like?

We don’t always know! I think that’s the beauty of creating an issue. It’s exciting to put a new face on the cover and gauge the reaction. For March, we had four separate covers that featured the new female faces in music—Lorde, HAIM, Say Lou Lou, and BANKS. It was a risk but it was received really well by our audience. Ultimately I think our readers know that if we’re behind a certain star or musician then they should be too. We (hopefully) have their trust.

In a world as digital as ever, Why and how you started to print?

I love digital but I am also a bit old school when it comes to print. I started in magazines when I moved to New York and I still get excited about when a new issue arrives. I’ve always loved V, even before I worked there; it’s always been so glossy and glamorous, like a coffee table book.

It seems the video format is the ultimate fashion in the field, How do you fit it in the magazine?

All of our fashion shoots include B-roll now. We also create exclusive content for the web, like music videos, which incorporates fashion that we will write about in book or vice versa.

What´s the main difference between Visionnaire, the big sister, V Magazine and V Man in terms of content?

Visionaire is a multi-format issue that is produced in limited quantities, more like art objets, which are really special. V Magazine is a large format indie fashion publication that is filled with the work of some of the greatest minds in fashion and photography today. V MAN is our exceptional brother publication. Stephen also publishes CR FASHION BOOK, Carine Roitfeld’s bi-annual magazine.

If you had to choose three trends for 2014, which ones would be?

Streetwear as high fashion; an abundance of overcoats (many of them pink!); and sporty.

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