Kennedy magazine is truly an independent publication: it doesn’t have a single ad, and focusses only on people they love, through editorials and sartorials. They released their 4th issue two weeks ago during Paris during fashion week. Here, we talk with Chris Kontos, the founder and editor-in-chief of the magazine, about the spirit behind the thriving publication. Enjoy our discussion and exclusives outtakes from the new issue.
Who is behind the magazine?
Me and my best friend and designer Angelo started the magazine. Angelo was killed in a motorbike accident right after the release of our first issue. Since then I have been working with English based design studio Commission. So basically we are behind the magazine.
What was the founding vision of Kennedy magazine?
The vision was to create a journal of favorite things. And this is what is still running on. Kennedy is trying to be an intimate place with talks and visions of people we love, with a personal feeling to it. We started Kennedy after being disillusioned from the lack of creativity and originality when working for major publications. Our ethos is to support small projects, businesses, and trying to retain and independent feeling without any compromise.
What is your definition of “curiosities”?
Things that don’t make in the first page. A lot of people and places that we love and which you might be familiar with, might still lack a wider audience or recognition. For example in our latest issue we are featuring Arto Lindsay. He is personal hero since I was teenager but for many people he is relatively unknown. We are trying to unearth these “curiosities.” Also the reference curiosities is related to a blog I was running for years called a “journal of curiosities” that became the blueprint which Kennedy was based upon.
Who is the model in the nude story?
The nude story is the result of session we did with my stylist Daphne and Tania, a model from Russia. We met on a cold Saturday at a friend’s apartment in the area neighboring the Acropolis called Koukaki (Athens, Greece). It’s a classic Greek neighborhood, with quite a lot of ugly looking blocks of flats built in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s a nice area for young people though. I wanted to include some shots of the buildings to accompany the nude shots. The photos are meant to be the story of girl in classic Athenian apartment. The nudeness is part of every issue of the magazine now. Although some people might find it distracting from the rather academic approach that the magazine has, I find it a nice break from endless conversations and travel photo stories. The mood on the set like in this case is always relaxed and funny. I try to build a relationship with the girls always otherwise the result isn’t good. This shoot ended in the best possible way since we all shared a tasty sandwich from a local shop that is probably on of the best in its league worldwide!
What are you especially proud of in this new issue?
I’m proud of the layout and design of the new issue more than anything. It’s great to try and change every time while keeping the same feeling and flow. I’m also proud of having people like Arto Lindsay on the list of conversations and featuring one of my favorite photographers, Jima. The new issue is dedicated to Paris, and is trying to offer an optimistic approach.
Tell us about your interest in Cite Universitaire and this diptych series?
This story was shot by our Paris based friend Daniele Mainetti. I had been following, Daniele’s blog The Paradise Backyard for a while and I liked a lot of his photos and stories about architecture as well as his scanned archive of books on arts décoratifs
and architecture. Daniele is an architect, and found the Cite an interesting space to document in a series of photos for us, especially after our decision to focus things on Paris and its architectural surroundings.
Tell us a bit about the story around photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn?
That feature was the choice of our contributor Paige Silveria. We love Cheryl’s work and she is a kind of unsung hero if New York underground so it made sense to feature her.
Iceland: Häre Christian
Tania: Chris Kontos
Cité Universitaire: Daniele Mainetti