To an outsider, it was a day like any other as Jimon Aframian approached his local Hollywood newsstand. Jimon frequented this place often, selecting his favorite magazines French, Numero, Vogue Paris.
But for him, this was a moment unlike any other.
Lined up alongside the other avante-garde glossies, the bold, stark letters J-I-M-O-N were displayed prominently amongst the other high fashion mastheads. JIMON magazine, the stunning, large format publication that the photographer had so tirelessly developed, had found its place amongst the other printed magazine powerhouses.
“That was it. I had made it already,” says JIMON magazine’s editor-in-chief and founder, laughing, reflecting on this special moment. “My vision had become true.”
Sharply dressed in a tailored black leather jacket and wearing designer glasses, Jimon visited FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s Los Angeles campus to talk about his experience as a magazine editor. The role seems more laborious than its stereotypically glamorous reputation.
After two years of conceptual planning for the independent, high fashion/photography magazine, and six months of organizing, commissioning and designing, he launched JIMON magazine in January 2010.
Jimon is unveiling the fourth issue of JIMON magazine this month, which is published bi-annually and distributed internationally by the same company that supports Vogue, Numero, Purple, Ten and Volt. The magazine has been requested by couture designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and has been growing in size and reputation organically on an international level.
“Things take time and you need to focus,” he says. “Google as we see it did not become Google overnight.”
Jimon’s vision and dedication to quality is reflected in the vibrant, visually stunning 11” x 14” pages of JIMON magazine, exhibiting fashion photography editorials by commissioned photographers, and an occasional interview with high-profile pros like David de Rothschild, Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), and Oscar Olima (Lady Gaga’s couturier).
To describe the magazine, Jimon says, “JIMON inspires, and that’s it. I want the magazine to drag inspiration out of you.”
His back story is inspiring in and of itself. A former aviation and mechanical engineer, he accidentally discovered his interest in the creative arts while developing promotional videos for his former employer. While learning editing software, Avid and other film-making skills, Aframian quickly unearthed his passion for the craft.
“Once I learned it, I said, ‘this is what I want to do. I don’t want to do engineering work anymore,’’ he says.
Diving into photography from film-making, Jimon developed a reputation for himself in Europe, and eventually decided to establish a magazine where he could carry out his creative vision in JIMON magazine.
“I couldn’t convey my vision with other editors, convince them to come on board with my ideas. I had had enough,” he says.
He admits, the fashion industry is tough, and highly competitive with magazines coming and going. For young creatives, he says that the key is to stay focused, and committed to excellence.
“The most important thing– and it’s something that is cliché and is said again and again, and I’m going to say it again– you need to believe in yourself,” he says. “That is all there is to it. It is as simple as that.”
When it comes to design, Jimon emphasizes the importance of careful planning, and getting lots of feedback.
“Do not over design. Know when to stop. Design and stop, and let other people tell you what you’ve done well and what can change,” he says. “Set your criteria, meet your criteria and stop. Then see what the feedback is.”
And if your designs are rejected?
“It’s okay, it’s not ready yet. Take a trip, go places, inspire yourself, see things,” he says. “You need to do that because I think it makes you a different person, a better person in a lot of ways.”
Jimon applies the same principles to JIMON magazine, holding fast to his dedication to quality, weighing every decision carefully from choosing the right printing vendor, to its the contributors, and advertisers.
“It’s a fluid business. A lot of magazines come and go,” he says. “We stick to the aesthetics and what we want to be in the magazine.”
Join Jimon and his readers for the self-described “period of sensory overload” in the latest issue, available at Barnes and Noble stores internationally, and at specialty newsstands found here. JIMON magazine will be available at FIDM’s Los Angeles campus cafe on August 15.
Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at mo’email@example.com.
Would you like more information about FIDM’s Digital Media and Graphic Design programs? Fill out an information request form here.