Thursday, 17 December 2009

In the Editor's Chair - Sarah Diouf

Welcome to In the Editor's Chair where I feature editors from niche and underground magazines. Meet 22 year old Sarah Diouf who is the brains and driving force behind GHUBAR magazine; a publication which covers fashion and style from a global perspective. As Paris is regarded as the capital of fashion then it is very fitting that GHUBAR (which means dust in arabic) is based in there. An undergraduate in marketing and communications, an intern at an accessories company as well as holding down a part time job at a department store, I do wonder how she manages to find the time to produce a magazine but she certainly makes it happen. The past issues of GHUBAR have featured an eclectic mix of music artist, fashionistas as well as trend pioneers. The December GHUBAR is a double issue which celebrates their one year anniversary and contains a article on blogs and looks at punk culture. Sarah took some time out to tell me all about GHUBAR and other things.  

How did you get into journalism?
Lol. I didn't. I'm actually studying marketing and communication which is my major but I fell in this adventure by passion. 

Describe the concept of GHUBAR magazine.
GHUBAR stands for difference. We live more than ever in the cross cultures era, and GHUBAR is a magazine built around inter-breeding and multiculturalism. Our hope and aim is to make people realize there are different standards of beauty out there and they are just waiting to be recognized, since it is not the case in all the current paper magazines. Difference is our crenel. We promote all types of beauty; any girl or boy can read the magazine without feeling forgotten. This is what is actually happening today and not only in the Press but in most of the medias. Everybody seem to forget we are in 2009 and that the 00's girls are not all straight blond, with blue eyes, fitting in a size 2. Sometimes we have to get back to what is called "standards", as you will see in the November issue, to also make people understand we are not the voice of all communautarisms. We want everybody to feel concerned. It is about finding the balance.

The design is very glam, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
Thank you. Well, I’m doing the whole magazine layout myself and I have to say, it was not what is it is now at the beginning. But I’m learning everyday and getting critics and feedback from people we work with on each issue really helps. I wanted the magazine to look like a real one, not just like a news website. So Carl, the webmaster and I had a long months chat about the global website layout and what was possible or not to do. I especially wanted to set up the magazine myself since Carl and I are working very closely, it was the best way. about the design, we have to keep in mind that we are on the internet and the fact that images have stronger impact than writings. So we have to keep in mind that we are on the internet and the fact that images have stronger impact than writings.

Who is behind Ghubar magazine?
I think now you know. (laughs)

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
We are  15; Maxime, the art director, Laura, Lala, Gregory, Mboko, the fashion editors, Tene, artists interviews, Raphaelle, Elodie who do communication and press relations, Laetitia, Maya, Claude, the photographers, Carl, the webmaster, Clara, graphist, Emily, who just joined us as a production assistant and myself.

Describe a day in the life of Sarah Diouf.
It depends on the week actually. I’m going to school and I’m also interning in a luxury accessories rental company, so it depends on the week actually. But I woke up in the morning, grabbed a juice bottle and set off to work. On Saturday I’m selling tablecloths (no kiddin!) in a luxury store called Le Bon Marché, a student job I have held for almost three years now. On Sunday, it is all about
GHUBAR and I’m on set with the team.

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
My friend's. Three of them don't live with me in Paris so it is a good way for me to follow their adventures.

and mine of course.

What magazines do you read?
All I can, from fashion to economy...but mainly French ones regularly. I wish some magazine were not so expensive (when they come from abroad, there’s always taxes). But when I can, I jump on some Japanese and English magazines because they are different from any others. Now I have to say I have kind a crush on this new mag that has just dropped in France called
Grazia, and if I am not a huge fan of the way the threat their covers (...) but some inside subjects are very interesting.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
Lol. It is funny how often this question is asked. Well, just do it!

The new issue of GHUBAR magazine is out now, check out their website here.
You can read the GHUBAR blog here.
You can follow Sarah on twitter here.

Check out the backstage shoot of the December cover below.


3 cool comments:

Adrienne S. said...

Very inspiring. I love seeing people so young take on something so big and succeed. Kudos!

Allegra said...

love the answers! very inspiring!

Divalocity said...

I have to agree with the same sentiment when it comes to magazines and the media period. I can't tolerate their myopic view of beauty and cultures. That's what makes these blogs and online magazines so great, they see the world for what it is, diverse. The magazines definitely understand the popularity of the blogs, that's why they try to mimic them. Too bad it's the same practice as their magazines, no true diversity. If there is no diversity shown, I can not support them. I'll read them and leave them right there in the book store, all former subscriptions are not renewed. There is not just one standard of beauty in the world and this type of ideal has wrecked havoc throughout the world for decades. Many people have failed to realized that what they're peddling is unattainable for most people and closely tied into commerce. We must understand that buying material goods and beauty products only provides a temporary fix, what's truly important is how we feel about ourselves. Women all over the world have been conditioned to believe a lie, and isn't it time that we learn to accept what the truth really is? The truth is that all women are beautiful because beauty is really diverse. By creating a climate of inferiority complexes is only a way to dominate and maintain wealth. Beauty insecurity is a multi-billion dollar industry. I've made a conscious effort to end my support to individuals who do not celebrate me and render me invisible. We are really the ones who set the trends, it is not them. We make something out of nothing and they recycle it back to us as something new. Pop culture is a part of capitalism and is used in a way to separate the hard earned money from the common people into the hands of the wealthy.