May 14, 2018 | By Jennifer Zhang
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Sep 12, 2017
By Sara Radin
The publishing industry is amidst a massive creative renaissance: while some magazines are folding (Nylon announced last week it would shutter its print edition and exist solely via digital), others are evolving their format and finding new footing (Teen Vogue now produces four special editions per year, and is receiving a multitude of success with its online platform — this month, EIC Elaine Weltheroth received a profile in New York Times). For the younger set, smaller scale publications and zines also have a growing following: with 66K Instagram followers, Polyester Zine has just released its sixth edition while Galdem Zine has nearly 23K followers and Crybaby has 13.6K.
Born out of this new publishing era is DRØME, an annual magazine that can be found sitting on the shelves at famed book-tailers such as STRAND and McNally Jackson. The glossy was founded in 2016 by two-twenty somethings: editor-in-chief Caroline D’Arcy Gorman, a student at Brown University, and executive director Satchel Lee, daughter of famed filmmaker Spike Lee. Gorman says DRØME’s team is a collective of artists and “rule breakers” who aim to celebrate the voices of those who are often overlooked — feminist artists, queer and trans people, and people of colour. Its “community of doers carves out space for empathy and kindness, working against mainstream ideologies that indoctrinate patriarchal and hateful theories via policy.”
Upon the release of its second volume, aptly titled “Revolution”, and a coinciding NYFW presentation, we sat down with co-founder Caroline D’Arcy Gorman to pick her brain about the magazine’s latest issue and event at the Ace Hotel. Here she also shares with us what larger scale publications can learn from smaller ones like DRØME. With only two issues under its belt and nearly 15K Instagram followers, DRØME is definitely a publication to watch.
When did you first get the idea for DRØME and what inspired you to launch it? Where does the name come from?
DRØME means dream in Danish. I am not Danish — it was honestly a Google translate situation. But the word seemed to fit perfectly with my vision, both aesthetically (with the Ø) and the meaning of the word. DRØME started as a vague concept and has really come a long way since its inception. In the beginning, I just had the Instagram (@wearedrome) and reposted content that I thought was dope particularly if it had a feminist theme. I hadn’t worked in fashion or publishing before, so that exercise of finding and reposting content really helped train my eye and refined my aesthetic. It has been so amazing to watch DRØME grow over the past couple of years and turn into a really real thing.
What is your process for curating each issue?
We start with a few features and build from there. The theme kind of depends on the content and general vibe. Revolution made a lot of sense for the theme of Volume II, considering the current administration and the revolutionary artists Vol II features. We’ve been working on Volume II since January. Especially in this digital age of constant content, it feels extra important to publish print. I also like the idea of not really conforming to a set publishing schedule, and really taking time to craft the magazine.
Who’s part of the DRØME team and what do they each contribute?
We have a small but amazing team of dedicated people! Joseph Gregory, our Events Coordinator, worked closely with Ace Hotel to coordinate our NYFW event. What’s cool about our staff is most of us are artists ourselves — I am a musician and Satchel Lee (Executive Director) just graduated Tisch for film. We are all about breaking down barriers between those who make art and those who curate it.
What can larger scale publications learn from smaller ones like yours?
A lot of the people that we work with have large followings, but are very hands on / DIY artists. For example, our designers for NYFW turned out a look in 6 days. Of course, we want to grow as much as possible, but its super important to us to stay hands on and maintain a personal touch. Also, we don’t feel like we have to cater to a more mainstream audience so we aren’t afraid to be as political and loud as possible.
Events seem to be another key aspect of your platform. Can you tell us more about your NYFW show REVOLUTIONERE?
It was totally insane! We had a line down the block, which was such an incredible testament to the community we’ve built over the past year. It really warmed my heart and made those all-nighters over the past few months worthwhile! In terms of the show itself, we worked with 12 models and 12 designers — some we reached out to and asked to be part of the show, and some submitted. Each look was totally unique but designed to fit into the theme of Volume II: Revolution.
I love fashion but in this time of turmoil, we wanted to bring a political mindset to the runway. It wasn’t just a fashion show it was a power grab back from our administration. We wanted to use the runway to elevate marginalized people and make their voices heard.
Although each look in the show was different, each model wore Nike AirForce 1’s as a uniform shoe. The designers got to fuck with the shoes and custom design them, which was really sick. The show honestly couldn’t have gone better and we were overwhelmed by the turnout. It was also the perfect launch event for Volume II! Thank you so much to everyone who came.
Any other events you’ve done that are worth mentioning?
Yes! Our Pride party in June was lit. Pride can be really exclusive and cater to only white cis gay men, so we really wanted to create a space where people of all identities would feel comfortable. Also, we wanted to bring back those Studio 54 vibes and it was a huge success. Everyone was dancing!
Tell us more about Volume II. What kind of content can we find inside the magazine?
So many talented and beautiful people! The cover story came about in a really unique way — we had shot Lumia Nocito for her own feature in the magazine and she asked me after the shoot if we had a cover story for the magazine; at that point, we didn’t. So Lumia offered to shoot her good friend Gabrielle Richardson for the cover and we were super down. We love Gabby and felt that the universe aligned for us! As for the rest of the magazine, there are so many beautiful features, including Kate Nash, Emma Sulkowicz, Madame Gandhi, Lizzy Plapinger, OSHUN… I feel so grateful to have gotten to work with such incredible people and call them part of the DRØME fam.
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