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QUEEN BEE: Sean & Seng’s bumble-bee-lipped cover shot of Lana del Rey is not the only thing that’s bound to generate some buzz with the debut issue of Interview Germany, which hit newsstands Friday.
A more full-framed version of the bee-lined shot, which appears on the cover of the Russian Interview’s second issue, also coming out Friday, got leaked online earlier this month. But that’s all part of the syndication game. The photos and interview were produced for and by the Berlin-based German magazine, which, like its Russian sister, is published by Vladislav Doronin and Bernd Runge under sublicense from LLV Publishing House Interview. And as Interview Germany editor in chief Jörg Koch remarked, “One of the incredible luxuries is that we can also use the fantastic stories American Interview has produced.”
About 30 percent of the 270-page issue, which is entering the crowded German magazine market with an initial circulation of 100,000 and a cover price of 6 euros, or about $7.80 at current exchange, is shared or syndicated content — such as Scarlett Johansson interviewed by journalist Arianna Huffington and photographed by Sølve Sundsbo, or Donatella Versace talking to rapper Nicki Minaj, shot by Patrick Demarchelier. “But I always find it important that one can feel where a magazine’s been produced, and we do want to create a product relevant to Germany.”
Hence, Interview Germany brought in former Andy Warhol assistant, the poet and filmmaker Gerard Malanga, to do portraits of 57 creative types, both stars and lesser knowns, in Berlin. Cultural studies professor Thomas Macho interviews author and theater director René Pollesch. But the Berlin team also set up interview duos such as artist George Condo and men’s wear designer Adam Kimmel, or arranged for an exchange of letters between interview-shy artist Maurizio Cattelan and singer Adriano Celentano.
In addition, the premiere issue has a 40-page A-to-Z appendix on the history of Warhol’s most famous publication.