Why ‘Beyond Noise’ Is Pushing for a New Voice in Women’s Magazines

LONDON Stylist Sarah Richardson and her photographer husband Richard Bush are cutting out the noise in fashion publishing and printing to the sound of a new beat with their biannual magazine, Beyond Noise.

The venture comes with a helping hand from investor Stefan Ericsson.

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“When I discussed [Beyond Noise] with Stefan, he said, ‘just do it.’ At this point in my career, I’m not just going to start a little fanzine, I want to do something where I put all my knowledge and experience [into use] by working with the people that I trust and admire,” said Richardson in an interview with Bush.

Sarah richardson
Stylist Sarah Richardson.

She described the process as being similar to “Dragon’s Den,” a British business reality television series that follows the same premise as “Shark Tank.”

The magazine is priced at 75 pounds and comes in a sliding case, split into two parts: Beyond, a photo book, and Noise, the magazine with accompanying features and interviews.

The place where the magazine is printed is run solely by solar power using vegetable dye ink.

Cover faces on Beyond include Vittoria Ceretti by Zoë Ghertner and a self-portrait of Gray Sorrenti. On the cover of Noise, Jennifer Connelly has been photographed by Craig McDean in a 10-page spread and Ayo Edebiri by Tyler Mitchell.

The couple is targeting the U.S. as its core market, then the U.K., Europe and the rest of the world.

Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly

Richardson calls America an optimistic country with untapped potential.

“Women need a voice there and there are great independent magazines there, but there’s not really a woman’s voice in any of them apart from American Vogue, which is for a different type of woman, respectfully, it’s not the woman I’m relating to or that we’re about,” she said.

“Most independent women’s magazines are very much in an echo chamber of the fashion industry and they’re not really for people outside the industry — they are less relatable to the woman on the streets,” Richardson added.

Richardson’s frustration stems from what she believes is the lack of depth in print and in Beyond Noise, she aims to dive into the subjects of fashion, art, culture, fiction, technology, science and environmentalism.

“It’s not that I want to do a completely intellectual magazine, I want it to be relatable to multiple women of different demographics,” she clarified.

Bush often sends her articles from more masculine-oriented publications that discuss female well-being and opens the conversation than just the surface level. Digging deeper into women’s issues has helped inform the features in Beyond Magazine.

Vittoria Ceretti by Zoë Ghertner
Vittoria Ceretti by Zoë Ghertner.

Richardson is erasing the traditional rule book of women’s magazine making by swapping the editor’s letter for a manifesto — each issue will invite a changemaker to write something. The first issue starts with English primatologist and anthropologist, Jane Goodall.

She has gathered an “Avengers team” of creatives: Juergen Teller, Mario Sorrenti, Malick Bodian, Venetia Scott and Gareth Hague.

Richardson oversees all editorial decisions, while Bush is the numbers guy.

Beyond Noise plans to go beyond print, too. It will launch its interactive website (thebeyondnoise.com) on May 27 and has hired an AI director to explore the opportunities of engaging digitally rather than just through articles.

Richardson has aspirations for commercial partnerships with tech and car brands.

“Commerciality has a bad name in fashion, it’s almost something to be looked down upon, whereas I actually think if you make something desirable, it’s automatically commercial,” she said.

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