Gili Biegun, the Editor-in-Chief of JOYS Magazine, sits down to share insights from her tour of fashion weeks across Paris, Milan, Copenhagen and more.
From memorable moments backstage to the unique challenges of curating JOYS' latest edition, Gili opens up about her journey in the fashion industry.
Discover the inspiration behind JOYS vol.13, her dynamic Instagram presence, and the delicate balance of maintaining authenticity in a mainstream-dominated landscape.
You attend and cover many fashion week; Can you share some of the most memorable moments from the recent fashion weeks you attended in Paris, Milan, and Copenhagen?
The past fashion week season was the busiest I’ve had since the pandemic. I’ve started in August in Copenhagen fashion week, continued to Budapest, Milan, Paris and Ljubljana and finished in Blegrade fashion week. My personal most memorable moment was having my makeup done at the backstage of Giambatista Valli by Netta Szekely, a MAC Cosmetic makeup artist. I’ve worte a fictional story inspired by her for JOYS vol.13 printed edition.
The recently concluded fashion week season stands out as one of the busiest periods I have experienced since the onset of the pandemic. I’ve started the journey in August with Copenhagen Fashion Week, I traversed through Budapest, Milan, Paris, Ljubljana, and concluded the season at Belgrade Fashion Week.
A personal highlight of of mine was backstage at Giambattista Valli, where I had the privilege of having my makeup done by Netta Szekely, a talented makeup artist of MAC Cosmetics. This experience left an unforgettable impression and served as a profound source of inspiration to a fictional story I wrote for JOYS volume 13.
How do these global fashion weeks influence your personal style and the content you curate for JOYS magazine?
I often get inspired by the backstage of fashion shows; the gustes, the hair and makeup teams, the models arriving in their own clothes before they are being transformed to the runway looks. I often choose to feature these moments in my coverage at JOYS.
The latest edition of JOYS has created quite a buzz. Can you give us a sneak peek into the theme and inspiration behind this edition?
Volume 13 showcases a mix of fashion weeks coverage, editorials, and lifestyle features, centered around the theme of "Eclectic," drawing inspiration from the current situation in the Middle East. Regrettably, due to the war in Israel and Gaza, this edition of JOYS magazine experienced a necessary delay—the first among the 13 editions.
Upon learning about the horrific events of October 7th, I believed it was necessary to refrain from releasing the initially planned edition. Instead, modifications were made to highlight the story of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa's eclectic nature and the harmonious coexistence of Jews and Arabs in the city.
Are there any exclusive features or collaborations in the new edition that you are especially proud of?
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to cover Budapest and Ljubljana fashion weeks and to capture exclusive content for JOYS vol.13 from their runways and backstage.
With a substantial Instagram following, how do you balance maintaining a personal aesthetic while also engaging with your audience's evolving tastes?
I believe in authenticity and, over time, have developed a distinctive voice that resonates with my followers. While staying faithful to my own style, I actively engage with my audience, valuing their feedback and incorporating shared interests. This mutual evolution ensures that my content remains genuine, relevant, and reflective of the evolving dialogue between myself and my followers. It's a dynamic process where I both lead and adapt, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances the overall experience for everyone involved.
Instagram plays a significant role in the fashion industry. How has your large following impacted your role as both a fashion influencer and the editor-in-chief of JOYS?
Instagram has undeniably become a powerful platform in the fashion industry, acting as a bridge between creators and audiences worldwide. My personal page @joysworld_ serves as a dynamic space to share curated content, exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses, and highlights from my global fashion experiences, including attending fashion weeks around the world.
The exposure on @joysworld_ not only amplifies the reach of JOYS but also allow a direct connection with our audience in real time. It allows me to have immediate feedback, preferences, and trends, shaping the content direction for both my personal brand and the magazine. The platform's visual nature aligns seamlessly with the visual storytelling inherent in the fashion industry, enabling me to communicate the ethos of JOYS effectively.
Moreover, Instagram has become a valuable tool for networking, collaboration, and staying attuned to emerging talents and industry dynamics. In essence, my Instagram presence has evolved into a symbiotic relationship with my roles as a fashion influencer and the head of JOYS, enhancing visibility, engagement, and the overall impact of our fashion narratives.
How do you select the featured designers, brands, and influencers for each issue, and what criteria do you consider?
Featured designers, brands, and influencers are chosen based on their relevance to the edition's theme and the overall narrative. The criteria include innovative and unique perspectives, a strong visual identity, and a positive impact on the fashion industry. The editorial team values authenticity, creativity, and a commitment to inclusivity.
Collaborations are sought with individuals and entities that align with JOYS' ethos, contributing to a well-rounded and engaging magazine experience for readers.
Are there any challenges you face in maintaining the independent spirit of JOYS in an industry dominated by mainstream media?
Maintaining the independent spirit of JOYS in an industry dominated by mainstream media does present its set of challenges. The mainstream is often predicted, and as an independent magazine, JOYS thrives on breaking away from conventions and bringing unique, diverse voices to the forefront.
One challenge is navigating the financial landscape. Independent publications may not have the same resources as mainstream madia. However, this limitation often becomes a catalyst for creativity. I always look for innovative ways to collaborate with like-minded brands, designers, and contributors who share our vision.
Another challenge is staying true to our editorial vision amid industry trends. While trends can be influential, we make a conscious effort not to compromise our independent stance. JOYS prioritizes authentic, meaningful content over fleeting trends, giving our readers a genuine and distinctive perspective.
Building and retaining a loyal audience is crucial. Mainstream media has broader reach, but JOYS' strength lies in cultivating a community that values unique narratives and diverse aesthetics. Engaging our audience actively through social media, events, and other platforms helps us strengthen this community.
Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're particularly excited about?
JOYS volume 14th is now under production. We are working together with creators from around the world on a very special edition that will include new and exciting contributors.
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