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  • Sofia Golovnya

Interview With Gili Biegun - Editor-in-chief of JOYS Magazine

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

The main thing I’ve learned as a structural engineering student in the university of Florence is how to fail in the most productive way. Over and over again.

How did your fashion career start?

Gili: I always loved photography, and fashion was some kind of a byproduct of my passion. Before I moved to Italy I photographed mostly landscapes and architecture, but quickly after I’ve settled down in Florence and made friends with fashion school’s students, I was drawn to capture people and the way they expressed themselves through fashion.

Any exciting projects you are working on now?

Gili: Everything I work on is exciting for me. These days I am working on the 7th volume of JOYS Fashion Book launching September 1st and on a few special projects for my social media channel @joysworld_.

What does it take to make a fashion magazine successful in such a competitive sphere with well-established major players?

Gili: JOYS is an independent magazine that features only original content created by our team. Individuality and originality were the key for JOYS to stand out.

Joys is available both in print and online. What is your opinion about digitalization, and do you think print magazines will cease to exist in the near future?

Gili: In a digital world, people are in need of physical aesthetics. With society’s growing awareness of environmental issues, I believe that magazines will be printed less often but on higher quality, therefore will have value for longer time.

You have a degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture. Has such an education affected your perception of fashion?

Gili: I’ve studied structural engineering in the university of Florence and previous to that history of architecture, but as my career in the fashion industry took off I haven't had the opportunity to graduate. In my final year, with only few courses for graduation, I had to choose if I should go to Paris for Haute Couture week or study for finals. The choice wasn’t easy, but so far I feel as if I made the right one.

I apply my knowledge from a few project management courses I took in my job as an editor. Engineers have an ability to see a finished product before constructions even begin, so do magazine’s editors.

The main thing I’ve learned as a structural engineering student in the university of Florence is how to fail in the most productive way. Over and over again.

What fashion figure had the most influence on you and why?

Gili: I am very inspired by Grace Coddington, her work, courage and esthetics.

What is your favorite show/collection of all time?

Gili: I don’t have a rank of my favourite shows, that would be impossible to do. As a backstage photographer my perspective on a show and a collection is very different than a front row guest or a fashion news reader that sees the perfect polished image of a model walking the runway.

A great collection for me is also a 18 years old girl feeling comfortable while being dressed in the backstage of a show, enjoying the garments and feeling confident in them.

It is very hard for me to like a collection after hearing a stylist shouting on a tired model for drinking water after an hour standing in the lineup at a 40 celsius degrees room… Even if the designs were impeccable.

What are your favorite brands right now?

Gili: I appreciate any brand that has a real purpose and a mission or brands that are truly sustainable in all aspects.

I am a huge fan of Ronald Van Der Kemp and his couture wardrobes. His mission to create new ethics in luxury fashion is inspiring and I do believe that it's the future of Couture. Italian designer Daniele Calcaterra creates wonderful sustainable collections with fascinating stories behind each garment.

What are some new talents in the business the world must know about? Or are there smaller Fashion Weeks that don’t get enough attention?

Gili: ‘’Made in Italy’’ stamp used to be the approval for high quality manufacturing, but as appreciation for fashion grows globally, other countries developed local fashion scenes that give Milan and Paris a good competition. Ljubljana fashion week organisation gives a platform for local designers to showcase their designs and it became one of my favourite fashion weeks to attend. Designers from Belgrade design’s district, which show during the fantastic Belgrade fashion week, created an inspiring high quality fashion hub.

On a global point of view, the Mercede Benz fashion week organisation supported Russia fashion week and took small local fashion brands to a new level on a digital fashion week platform during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How has your work influenced your personal style?

Gili: My work exposed me (and my personal closet) to a variety of possibilities of self-expression through fashion. The biggest influence my work had on my personal style is understanding that concept.

What do you think are going to be the biggest changes in the fashion industry in the next 5 years?

Gili: I believe that fashion will become genderless. Some collections might be more traditionally feminine or traditionally masculine but it will become even more acceptable and even popular to mix and match.

In your opinion, what is the biggest COVID-19 pandemic influence on the fashion industry?

Gili: The biggest impact is of course the immediate financial crisis that will have many implications on the industry. Genderless or genderfluid fashion weeks are the first step that big platforms such as The National Chamber on Italian Fashion in Milan and The British Fashion Caounsil in London are taking these days.

The other necessary steps will be repurposing fabrics from deadstocks and previous collections, manufacturing in lower volumes and reducing the number of drops per season/year. All these and more will benefit our environment and will teach the industry an important lesson about modesty.

Photo credit: Ioana Cmeciu


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