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Daphne Guinness Drops POP — Mostly; Ashley Heath Talks Supposed Dasha Drama

>> Even though POP magazine doesn't officially relaunch until September, it's a hot topic these days, especially with the supposed drama of Dasha Zhukova's appointment as the new editor-in-chief and Daphne Guinness's worry over being announced as part of the editorial board.  Today, Daphne blogged on the matter, calling the reports "so FUNNY . . . . It was flattering but not true I am afraid.  A complete misunderstanding!"

We caught up with POP's editorial director Ashley Heath this morning — he confirms that Daphne has asked not to be on the editorial board, and is instead "working on a very interesting and exciting special project for us."  Also on the plate for discussion — POP's logo: to change or not to change, first cover clues, and when the freelance fashion and creative teams will be announced.

What do you think about the reception Dasha's appointment is receiving in Milan?

"The reception from the fashion industry towards Dasha has been universally positive. As soon as she talks to anyone the fact that she is extremely intelligent, cultured, driven and positive becomes obvious. Dasha has a very strong sense of style and a strong point of view on the modern world and on magazines. She is incredible in every meeting. The advertisers are thrilled about her appointment, but then they realise an intelligent international perspective is key now. But I've no idea how the rest of the magazine media responded to the announcement. Editors and journalists aren't exactly known for their universal goodwill are they? But the front row figures I care about all grabbed me and said, 'Wow, this is really interesting, this is actually an exciting prospect.'"

Daphne's "indicated that being a part of the editorial board is not a good idea" »

Can you explain about Daphne Guinness saying she found out about her editorial board appointment along with everyone else?

"No comment. Oh, okay, one word: 'Politics.' What I will say is that Daphne is still working on a very interesting and exciting special project for us. It's taking her somewhere new as a creative. Daphne's fantastic, she's a friend of mine and she's a huge fan of Dasha. But she's indicated that being a part of the editorial board is not a good idea as she needs to remain media neutral. I respect that. The important thing is that Daphne feels she can contribute to POP going forward in a free and adventurous manner. Or for any other magazine for that matter."

Any clues about the direction you're going for the first cover?

"We've already started putting some cover concepts up on the walls. The cover is so key to a great magazine and I do think a lot of biannuals kind of bottle the cover issue by just relying on a name photographer shooting an actor for the umpteenth time. Or else it's just an uninspiring lift from a fashion shoot. There have been some great POP covers, though, so we've got a lot to live up to. Some of the early POP covers especially I thought set a real standard. I don't want to give too much away at this early stage, however."

Will the POP logo be changed or stay the same for the relaunch?

"The logo stays. Remember I oversaw that logo being developed in the first place. Suburbia did a great job there. Both Dasha and I are very happy with the logo. We are getting a number of contemporary artists to do different executions of the logo, though. And those could be used in a number of different ways . . . perhaps we'll do an installation in our little Berlin space . . . But the logo is well-known and loved and very appropriate for what we're working up. Both Dasha and I love the original concept and impulse behind POP's original launch."

Is the appointed editorial board of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Sam Taylor-Wood, etc. long-term or just to kickstart the first issue?

"The editorial board is very important but it's not the masthead, I think there's been some confusion over that. As we explained at our small briefing conference in Milan on Friday, the concept of the editorial board is a group of collaborative friends or trustees who constantly talk through and enhance ideas that the magazine is considering covering and who throw both concepts and concerns around at regular gatherings. The board are almost guardians of our POP universe and thus of POP magazine. As we indicated in Milan there will likely be more names added to this board that will perhaps be announced alongside the entire creative and fashion teams after the Paris shows finish. The editorial board is not a short-term thing, in fact quite the opposite. It will probably function better next year and beyond once our revamped POP is more established in everybody's heads."

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