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More print goodness as we sit down with twin sisters Monique & Joanna Kawecki, founders of the brilliant Champ Magazine. Living in separate cities, London and Tokyo, the duo sought to create a global journal bringing together the best in art, design, music, photography and everything in between – an open minded approach resulting in a truly compelling read. This latest double cover issue no exception, look out for the likes of Pigalle, Henrique Oliveira, Saturdays NYC, Kinfolk, Kogi ‘Poggy’ Motofumi, Robert Mapplethorpe and Dean Edmonds across its 256 pages. Printed on the kind of paper you can’t help but stroke, courtesy of the good folks at Calverts in East London, we get a look inside issue 8, at Ollie Adegboye’s ‘making of’ film and talk chasing subcultures with the ladies.

Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and the magazine’s beginnings?

Everything we’ve been involved in before Champ was with the aim of seeing and exploring the world and the incredibly creative people within! We are twin sisters living in two different cities, sharing a similar point of view. We didn’t study graphic design or publishing, but through a passion and love of print just got going and asked talented friends to get involved.

What was the initial idea behind Champ Magazine?

To capture international creative cultures in an ever-relevant form, for decades and generations to come. It’s a tangible matter, so to share with, and influence, others is really remarkable to us. How do you know about something incredible that could encourage a new perspective, if you were never shown or introduced? Knowledge is King.

Were you always set on print as opposed to online?

It all started from a genuine love of print actually. Growing up in Adelaide, Australia we collected our favourite magazines – some local, some foreign print. Early favourites were i-D, Monster Children, WERK and Lodown. They were full of amazing typography, photography and covered their country’s subcultures effortlessly. A major influence, then and now, is Egoiste, the editor Nicole Wisniak was a true visionary.

How would you describe the magazine?

Curiosity and investigations into creativity and cultural insight.

Showcasing only the most fascinating people and works for a global and knowledgeable readership. We aim to highlight the most unique, rebellious, forward-thinking, ground-breaking subcultures we can find and to communicate and document them for ourselves and others.

The magazine is international in its subject matter and contributors, is having a mix really important to you?

It’s much more interesting to know what’s happening in another city, and more-so from an insiders perspective. Our global reach comes from friends and Champ family around the world with whom we share a similar view and creative philosophy, contributors who are proactive, with a genuine approach.

What’s your criteria in terms of content?

It is people and work we feel strongly about and feel compelled to share and communicate. We trust our instincts in curation, but are drawn to dedicated and talented people who push boundaries, even cross disciplines.

Anything in particular you’re really excited about in this issue?

This issue features some brilliant people that we’ve long admired, so we were truly excited to meet and feature them. From Wonderwall’s Katayama-san, to painter Michael Borremans and fellow Australian photographer Mike O’Meally or Pigalle’s Stephane Ashpool. Showcasing captivating photography is also important to us, the work of Rinko Kawauchi, Anders Edstrom and the late Robert Mapplethorpe are particular highlights. We really encourage knowledgeable travel, so our Art & Architecture pages cover amazing places around the world, and of course the people within in them. The Portrait City Series includes 28 global game-changers and forward-thinkers that everyone should know about.

What’s next for Champ?

Keep it movin’….

Grab your copy of Issue 8 here and find your nearest stockist here.

Words by Lena Dystant
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