Monday, January 20, 2014

interview with Danielle Pender from RIPOSTE

RIPOSTE just released it's first issue. It's a magazine for and about women. Jeremy Leslie from magCulture said: Riposte is well art directed and designed, with great use of the basics of magazine structure, from photography to illustration via typography.

We had a few questions for editor-in-chief Danielle Pender.

-         Why did you start a magazine?

I’ve always been interested in publishing, I did my MA in Creative Writing and have wanted to do something print based for a while. I buy quite a lot of magazines but the found myself buying more male orientated titles as I found the breadth of topics more interesting than the usual fashion and beauty focus of women’s magazines. I felt there was a real gap in the market for something different which spoke about all aspects of women’s lives not just fashion, beauty and relationships.

The slogan of the magazine is "A smart magazine for women", why did you choose this title?

We wanted make it clear from the start that we covered a broad range of topics and that the content was going to be more in depth than perhaps you find in other more mainstream women’s magazines. Also smart to us means more than intellect or academia, we feature women who are street smart and business savvy. 

Would you consider Riposte a feminist magazine?

I consider myself a feminist in that I believe in equal rights for all. Therefore yes I feel Riposte is a feminist magazine however we don’t approach the content from an exclusively gender political point of view, this can be really narrow and ignore much more interesting avenues of conversation. We profile everyone in our magazine as people first and foremost and their achievements speak for themselves.

I think you can question the status quo and have a conversation about feminist issues but I also think in many cases it’s more interesting to inspire through doing.

Did you read this new feminist magazine GAG? What do you think of it?

To be honest I haven’t but as far as I’m concerned any magazine which is trying to offer an alternative to the celebrity gossip magazines currently on offer is a great thing!

Why do you publish a printed magazine instead of publishing online?

I think a beautifully and carefully considered piece of print holds more weight in people’s minds than an online article. I personally remember more of what I read offline than on and I think it’s a totally different experience. I picked up the latest issue of The Gourmand recently and their level of care and attention to detail of the print job is incredible, it makes me respect the content more.

It seems the cover of Riposte is split; the names of the people that are written about are on the front cover on white while the back cover has a single portrait. What's the thought behind this?

The decision to have a solely text based cover came down to what we were trying to say with the magazine. We want the focus to be on what the women have to say, what they’ve achieved and who they are, rather than what they look like.

What are your favourite magazines?

I have a few, I love Monocle, Gentlewoman, The Gourmand, Printed Pages and Kinfolk are all really good.  

Are you already starting with the second issue?

Yes we’ve approached all of our interviewees and have decided on most of the features and essays. I’m really excited about Issue #2 and Shaz has already come up with some inspired design ideas!

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