Dressing up a worn fashion scene

Apparently, the District is not all about politics. Worn Magazine, a D.C.-based fashion periodical recently launched by GW alumna Nicole Aguirre, explores D.C.’s creative side by featuring local fashion and art.

As a photo intern with Vanity Fair last summer, Aguirre decided the time was right for a D.C. fashion periodical.

“There was a large, gaping hole to fill” in the city’s fashion scene, Aguirre said. She also currently works as a full-time photo editor at U.S. News & World Report.

She recruited staff, and, earlier this year, received a Young Artist grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities that helped fund the magazine.

Aguirre, who graduated in December of 2008, said she designed Worn Magazine to be simplistic: The pages are large and uncluttered, emphasizing the beauty of the photography and the clothes. As many magazines downsize and focus on their Web editions, Aguirre said she feels that there is a way to make print publications worth saving.

“I’ve realized I’m part of a generation of young people who need to come up with new strategies,” she said. Aguirre said she’s confident the superior quality of a printed photo, in comparison to an online image, will keep people interested in publications such as Worn Magazine.

When Aguirre considered who to profile for the magazine’s first edition, she searched for people who had their own unique style, or as she says, “who were doing their own thing, and were doing it in D.C.” One of the photoshoots depicts a standard, suit-wearing D.C. resident clashing with someone representative of the city’s growing “creative renaissance.”

Though the focus of the periodical is fashion, the first edition also profiles local artist DECOY and the “stylish gents” behind Restaurant Marvin in the U Street corridor.

“The people are local, the clothes are local, the backgrounds are local,” said Josh Yospyn, the magazine’s head of photography.

For the most part, the subjects in the photographs have no experience in modeling; some are friends and acquaintances of people on the magazine’s staff. For the “Worn Out” section of the magazine, Yospyn simply walked around D.C. and photographed people wearing unique outfits.

Copies of the first edition, which covers spring and summer 2010, are available online at wornmagazine.com. They are also for sale at several D.C.-based businesses, such as Redeem and Treasury, two locally owned clothing retailers that provided some of the fashions seen in the first edition. Aguirre plans for each subsequent edition to spotlight other such retailers.

Though Aguirre said the magazine will probably publish two editions in 2010, the goal is to eventually have an issue for each season. The magazine should soon be for sale in at least one location in each D.C. neighborhood for between $5 and $7. Aguirre said the organization is trying to find a location on campus to sell the magazine.

The magazine’s staff might be small for the moment, but everyone has a passion for the job.

“I have a day job, but then I have a second job that lets me do what I love,” said Yospyn, describing how his main occupation is Web design, but how he has adopted a practice of always carrying a camera.

Like the double-sided city she represents, Aguirre also has different facets. She graduated from the Elliott School of International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict and Security, but she said she has always been interested in photography, taking classes and exploring the world of photojournalism within the District.

With her varied background and desire to fix D.C.’s weary fashion scene, Aguirre plans to use Worn Magazine to target “young professionals who need a creative outlet outside of their maybe not-so-creative jobs.”

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