BARK, AS FASHION HAPPENS
Ever-present at major industry events around the world’s most famous fashion capitals, Bark is a trade magazine for those operating within the fashion system, set to trigger a dialogue between creative brands and everyone involved in fashion, as well as simple fashion addicts. A free distributed magazine Bark has just celebrated its first anniversary this September; however, this is not the first for its editor, Sofia Symeonidou – its sister publication, Infur, has been around for 15 years. We sat down with her to discuss her new venture, Bark, her experiences in publishing and running a print magazine in the digital age.
How did you find yourself working in the fashion publishing industry?
It all started from an idea that came up in conversation. The idea materialized in two years, and the magazine will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year!
You had already launched Infur. What made you decide launch another magazine? What gap did you aspire to fill?
We wanted to rise to the challenge of dealing with different themes and address, the need to showcase new designers, both contemporary and avant-garde, in international fashion events. This new publication also arises out of the experience we have gained from our participation in international fashion and trade events with INFUR – more than 100 in the last 15 years.
How has publishing evolved since you entered the industry?
I would say dramatically. With the invasion of Internet, there is an unfair race against time in the diffusion of information, obliging all publications to compete against themselves.
Your magazines have both print and digital editions. Could you weigh in for us the two situations?
It is a co-dependent relationship. INFUR puts out two issues per year, in March and September; Bark three per year, in January, June and September. As a result, our e-publications and social media pages give us the opportunity to communicate with our readers and followers on a daily basis in the intervening periods, maintaining their interest and keeping in touch with them via each medium. It is a fact that no print publication can rival the directness and speed of communication on the Internet.
Bark is currently distributed at trade shows. How has the trade show business evolved during the last years?
Trade shows are like living organisms that have their ups and downs. They always reflect the socio-economic circumstances of the particular time and the particular field. Concerning the leading trade shows where Bark is distributed, there is definite growth and great interest in terms of retailing.
How do you approach the process of putting together each magazine? How is the one different from the other?
Each publication has its own layout, themes and target group. INFUR is a luxury publication, targeting consumers and sold at newsstands. Bark is a free-press tabloid style publication, targeting fashion professionals, buyers and designers at the trade shows where it is distributed.
What does it take to make print alluring in the digital age? Make someone pick up and read the copy?
You know, print publications have a huge advantage. They evoke the readers’ emotions and stimulate their senses. Personally, when I find myself at a newsstand, I feel like a kid in a toy store: all these countless magazines, and their covers, their design, and quality of the paper that I can feel as I browse through them cannot be beaten by the cool contact with a tablet or computer. A magazine, after all, does not only provide information, but it is a form of entertainment as well.
What are your future plans?
Since February 2015 INFUR has been available at international newsstands. Already its second issue is available at Barnes & Noble bookstores. B&N is the largest retail bookseller in the USA, and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products in the country! We aim to increase circulation, and also up the number of issues from two to four annually.
Bark is in its first year of circulation. For 2016, our goal is to broaden its participation in more international fashion events.
Images © Sofia Symeonidou for Bark