Launched after photographer turned Editor-in-chief Chris Kontos lost his job due to the Greek financial crisis, Kennedy has developed into a biannual publication with global reach. We take a look at the recent ninth issue.
ONE: The contents-list cover harks back to the earliest magazines — think National Geographic a century ago. This works well for a magazine that doesn’t want to be defined itself by an image from one single piece. Here, the design is reversed and the pastel lemon background becomes the stand-out colour on the front, as the border and title are stripped back to white. It’s interesting that, at the moment, a plethora of magazines are turning to white for their front covers – is this a larger trend or perhaps a ‘beginning of the year’ feeling?
TWO: Kennedy defines itself as a Journal of Curiosities – an open term allowing it to play around with subject matter. It delves into travel, fashion, interiors, culture, and is interested in a craftsmanlike approach. The ‘curiosities’ remit brings up interesting hidden places like London’s first members-only nightclub, Annabel’s, but I get the feeling that Kennedy could go just a little deeper into these esoteric finds. I was glad to see that this issue didn’t contain any of the slightly ‘lads mag’ photoshoots that didn’t quite work with this theme in the past — it’s good for a magazine aimed at a male readership to celebrate women for who they are and what they do rather than what they look like.
THREE: The writing in the magazine often takes quite a conversational style, which works well to bring in an air of casual acquaintanceship with the reader. In previous issues, Kontos had a large presence, authoring several pieces, but he’s managed to get more contributors involved, resulting in a richer diversity of content and viewpoints for this issue, like this sideways-designed interview with American artist Chase Hall by Paige Silveria.
FOUR: Kennedy has built itself on the power of the interview and Kontos’s presence is most keenly felt in the sprawling feature interview with London-based photographer Polly Brown. Running to nearly 60 pages, it’s as big as many other magazines in their entirety. The plethora of images of Brown doing normal stuff are engaging, but perhaps in this instance the verbatim style of interview could have been edited down a little.
FIVE: Being based in Athens gives the magazine an interesting jumping off point — there are plenty of references to Greece but, like the economic crisis, it is influenced by global people and happenings. Even when abroad, the focus is always to find out about the locality and the texture of everyday life. In this issue, an essay by Haydée Touitou, co-founder of The Skirt Chronicles, about a stormy day in Palermo makes reference to a John Kennedy street that was driven down – a reminder that ‘Kennedy’ as a name has traveled across the globe.
Editor-in-chief: Chris Kontos
Design: Athina Delyannnis after Angelo Pandelis