“I THINK LIFE HAS BECOME DISTORTED; THERE’S A RESURGENCE OF APPRECIATION FOR REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES.” – RONNIE FIEG
Do you think “blogging” has become a dirty word?
David: I don’t know. Jeff [Carvalho, Fischer’s partner at Titel Media] was always like “Don’t call Highsnobiety a blog — call it an online magazine!” I’m like, why the fuck can’t we call it a blog?
Perhaps some people view blogs as having eroded the exclusivity of the scene?
Ronnie: As a person who cares about business last, I don’t think it’s a good thing that product is available everywhere these days. I wish regions had their own product. In the old days, if you got something you could be a lot different to anyone else on the block. That got diluted. Eventually it’s gonna go back to that — it has to. Regions are getting big enough to support their own collections.
David: Yes. You see a bit of it in Japan. It’s the only market where you can Google a brand and still not find anything about it! It’s amazing. There’s brands where I just don’t understand the economics. I’m not saying that the money is everything, but I don’t understand how some brands can survive. Still, that’s what makes them so great. You get that feeling that it’s being done because of passion.
What about the use of platforms like Snapchat to promote product?
Ronnie: I’m on Snapchat, but not for promo purposes. I think that it’s getting too much. I really think that getting stuff in print is the most important thing.
Why is that?
Ronnie: Because it’s forever. The older I get, the more I understand how important tangible things are. It’s like when someone goes on a juice diet — for seven days you’re on juice, and by day three you miss chewing.
David: For us, the print magazine has been an amazing journey. It really set us apart. As Highsnobiety becomes more pop culture-driven, the magazine is very much about that traditional core of fashion and lifestyle.
Do you not worry that the reach of a magazine article is a fraction of what it could achieve digitally?
David: The main thing that the magazine has done is teach us about creating high-quality content. Suddenly we had to proofread text and take beautiful pictures because, in print, everything is so definite. You can’t correct things. This process really pushed the quality for the whole website.
“ULTIMATELY, THE THINGS THAT YOU CONNECT WITH THE MOST EXIST IN THE REAL WORLD. OUR LIVES SHOULD NOT, AND WILL NOT, BE EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE.”
– DAVID FISCHER
Do you think the reverence people have for magazines is down to a slight distrust of digital?
David: Ultimately, my parents only respected what I did once I had it in print! (Laughs) It legitimizes so much of what I’d been doing for so long. Suddenly it was like, “What do you do?” And I could slap it down.
Ronnie: I think life has become distorted; there’s a resurgence of appreciation for real-life experiences.
David: Ultimately, the things that you connect with the most exist in the real world. Our lives should not, and will not, be exclusively online. Thankfully!
What about the role of social media in keeping people informed?
David: The other day I asked our intern where he gets his news, because I was looking for new sites, and he said, “You know what? Mostly Instagram.” Now I feel like we’re competing with social media as well as the other blogs. It’s a strange new competition — if you ask people which websites they visit every day, how many people are still doing that? These days we’re fighting to be a square on somebody’s news feed.
Ronnie: I turn notifications off. I can’t see it. It’s too much. When I think how far communication has come over the last few years, it’s crazy. I just think that the whole digital era we’re in now is so different from where I’ve come from that it’s detrimental to my personal experience.
Would you prefer that the real world and digital mix be a little more balanced?
Ronnie: The best case scenario today would be to mix both — a little bit of the old school mentality blended into how things are done today. I think Supreme does a good thing with marketing their products. It’s direct, clean and they give you the bottom line.
Finally, do you think we’re coming to the end of a boom for athletic footwear?
Ronnie: I’ve seen the cycle three times. I think that we’re hitting the end of one now — boots will have their moment this fall.
David: It’s a good question. Right now, I can’t see how sneakers won’t play a role over the next few years. It’s too big. But it will have to change eventually. I remember starting in 2005 and sneakers becoming bigger and bigger, then BOOM, everybody was wearing white Common Projects or Red Wings. I was like, “Boat shoes? What the fuck are you talking about?” We’re not that far away from that. But since then, sneakers came back stronger than ever. You can never rule them out.