Issue No. 52
March 2019 —

the
content
issue

 
 
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A Digital trend publication blending a mix of culture, insights and data.

 

EDITOR'S LETTER

 
 

Do you ever feel major burnout from the constant need for content? Me too.

It's like a never ending cycle that can feel utterly monotonous... until that great idea strikes, or you see something that makes your thumb stop and say whoa. Maybe it's just because it's the business I'm in, but that feeling is gold to me. 

Every year, we take the time in this issue to reflect on the landscape of content, and refresh our minds with how to approach it differently (or, heck, the same if it's working for you). And this issue is no different. From figuring out how to re-tool the same thing over and over, and still make it interesting, to a reflection on how one brand has maintained its seat as one of the MVPs of content, even after decades have rolled by.

So with that, I give you some content about content.

chelsea matthews

Editor In-Chief

"It's like a never ending cycle that can feel utterly monotonous."

 

Contents

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ARTIST FEATURE

SHPLINTON

This month’s issue is a little different, as we’re featuring, no, not a photographer, but an artist who sketches, paints, and creates with his hands. Say hi to Shplinton. Quentin Thomas, if we’re being formal. I first met Quentin years ago at a small Aussie-owned shop in Venice. He was dropping off a jacket that he’d custom-made for one of the owners. Its back was covered in paint, fabric, and heart-felt soul. Shplinton’s unique expression of artwork is eye-catching. It awakens your senses and when you see a piece in person, you can literally feel his passion under each brush stroke or ink mark. Born in South Central LA, he’s gone from shy kid who doodled in the Bibles at church, to a professional artisté whose now collaborating with TOMS, restaurants, live painting events at the Ace Hotel, eventually a bike ride across the country to sponsor inner city kids who love art… All while being one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet. Welcome to Shplinton’s world, read our (in person!) interview today.

— Gaelan Simpson, Managing Editor SSR

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FEATURES

A QUICK LESSON ON AZIONE PR

FabFitFun, Away, Ritual, Equinox, Moon Juice, Medmen, Sakara Life, Sweetgreen, Simplehuman, Girlboss, Stance, J.Crew, Cole Haan… These are just a few of the buzzy brands that AZIONE has helped megaphone out to the masses. Leland Drummond co-founded the top PR company with partner Michele Thomas and since inception, the company has worked to extend the brand reach of some the trendiest companies around. In this article, we have a run down on what AZIONE does uniquely in the PR space, as well as a quick pow-wow interview with this unstoppable duo.

— Leland Drummond, Founding Partner AZIONE / The League

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FEATURES

A CENTURY UNDER THE INFLUENCE:

HOW LEVI’S HAS REMAINED COOL FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

Trends evolve, tastes change, fads die, this a constant of life.  Watching Ringo Starr perform in 2018 or reading the recent Rolling Stone profile of a sad and lonely 55 year old Johnny Depp is all one needs to see to know that even being among the coolest people on Earth at one point in time does not guarantee you a life time seat at the cool kids table…The one exception to the unofficial rule of cool that I have seen in my lifetime is the Levi Strauss Co. Consider this…

— Drew Ligget, Founder of Indian Summer Agency

 
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FEATURES

A FASHION OUTSIDER’S DIVE INTO THE WORLD OF DIET PRADA

When it comes to the subject of fashion, I know enough to know that I’m no expert. This was doubly confirmed when I was asked to write about the Instagram sensation Diet Prada. Until I googled it, I had no idea what that was.

After I got the story straight, I started to dig in to the Diet Prada archives, where I was educated in everything from references to film in fashion, the narrow vision of Hedi Slimane, vintage Balenciaga, 1950’s couture, and what I guess can be described as Stefano Gabbana’s terrible personality.

— Erna Adelson

 

FINDINGS

Medmen x spike jonze

Spike Jonze collaborated with the brand and directed a video short for them, highlighting America’s complex and controversial relationship with Cannabis.

NO WAY A FOOTBALL ZINE WOULD WIN A TOP DESIGN AWARD, RIGHT?

How one designer with no formal education created one of the greatest matchday programs of all time. How is it something can change for the better when you didn’t even realize it needed changing in the first place? This is the question West Bromwich Albion F.C. fans were scratching their heads about while thumbing through the Albion News at the start of the 1969 season.

 

This episode is all about the gram. We sit down with Brandy Pham, Founder of everyone's favorite Instagram planning tool - Planoly. Listen in as Brandy chats through the beginnings of Planoly, and the five ways a brand (or person) should consider using social to establish a story + setting for themselves.

SESSIONS by Matte Black

 

subscribe here. we’ll drop you a new issue every month.

 
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colophon

 

Editor-In-Chief  
Chelsea Matthews
@chelseamatthews

 

Managing Editor
Gaelan Simpson
@gaelansimpson

 

Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop
@micahheykoop

 

SESSIONS Producer
Aria Davis
@theariachanel

 

Creative Director

Nolan Goff

@nolanwgoff

Graphic Design

Ariel Irby

@arielirby

 

Photographer

Shplinton (Quentin Thomas)

@shplinton

 

 

 

CONTRIBUTORS

 
 
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"SHPLINTON"

Quentin “Shplinton” Thomas is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and curator who has exhibited in galleries and museums within the L.A. and Inland Empire areas. With a psychedelic color palette caught somewhere between surrealist philosophy, AbEx painting, and skate + surf culture with a bit of art school kid tossed in, there is an entry point for a wide variety of audiences in his work.

Hero: I have a lot  of heroes, but the service different parts of my mental and spiritual well being

Dream vacation: any place where I’m with the people I love, I don’t really have one dream place I want to explore 

Guilty pleasure: none, I do what I do.

First kiss. Not sure.

I am good at cooking _____ I am good at cooking burritos.

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LELAND DRUMMOND

AZIONE Co-Founder Leland Drummond forges lasting connections between brands, media, tastemakers and global audiences. An avid student of culture with a strategic mind, Drummond intuitively steers clients ahead of the curve to the heart of the zeitgeist. Drummond co-founded celebrated creative PR agency AZIONE with partner Michele Thomas in 2010. The company has since become an industry leader in everything from lifestyle, wellness, and fitness, to fashion, beauty and technology, quietly becoming an industry leader by amplifying the scope of brands above their endemic core. Today, the midsize boutique has offices in NY, LA, San Francisco and Costa Mesa and employs over 35 driven, dynamic, and diverse talents.


Celebratory song: Daft Punk (name a song)

Guilty pleasure? Pasta

Next vacation spot: Greece 

Fun book for a weekend read: Shoe Dog - Phil Knight / Becoming - Michelle Obama

Favourite IG account: @overheardla/ @overheardny

Muse: Jackie O

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DREW LIGGET

Drew Ligget is the founder and president of Indian Summer Agency, a full service branding, sales, and marketing agency with clients around the world.  He has a decade of experience strategically building and marketing meaningful brands and helping them tell their story and bring their products to market.  Drew lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Favorite hype song: Master P – Make Em Say Uhh

Last movie that made you cry: Forrest Gump – plays much heavier when you’ve been on a plane for 8 hours

Next tattoo: WWMDD – “What Would Mobb Deep Do”

Wisest thing mama taught you: “have fun, be kind, wear sunscreen”

Hidden talent: Two Time Middle School Spelling Bee Champ

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ERNA ADELSON

 

Erna Adelson is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker. She also writes lovely pieces for us, a lot.