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LONDON, United Kingdom — This is not the first time Madrid-based publisher Luis Venegas has faced the challenges of an upended global economy.
In 2009, in the wake of the Great Recession, Venegas launched cult magazine Candy, which he describes as an embodiment of the “transversal universe” — celebrating queer and trans creatives and advocating for inclusivity in the industry.
“It felt like the right thing to do,” he told BoF Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in a special edition of the BoF Podcast. “Back in 2008 and 2009, I never saw any transgender people on the cover of a glossy fashion magazine.”
Over the next decade, Venegas built a mini empire of independent titles, including Fanzine 137 and The Printed Dog, proving creativity can flourish in times of great distress. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic that has resulted in closures, furloughs and layoffs — both in publishing as well as the fashion industry at large — Venegas feels like he’s come “full circle” with the publication of his latest book, The Candy Book of Transversal Creativity: The Best of Candy Magazine, Allegedly.
For Venegas, the feeling of the unknown is like “walking on thread,” noting that his namesake publishing house has no outside financial backing. “I’ve always felt with every new issue of Candy and every new publication I do it could be the last one because I’m an independent,” he said.
However, Venegas believes situations that force you to adapt make you resilient, and advises other creatives to keep pressing on. This crisis “has the potential of bringing the best out of all of us,” he said. “We have to figure out how to move forward… and remain positive.”
Tune into this episode of the BoF Podcast, where the duo share their passion for print magazines, how the industry has transformed and the birth and evolution of Candy.
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