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Jefferson Hack: Marriage of Music & Fashion

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The Dazed Media co-founder and fashion provocateur talks Berlin, Bowie and the boldest moves in his career

Jefferson Hack went from an outsider to fashion’s most provocative insider. It’s hard to believe the Dazed Media co-founder ever said, ‘I was never cool’. Now heading up a portfolio of style bibles with fingers on the pulse of fashion, music, art and youth culture, this sartorial maverick shows no sign of slowing. For our Bold Minds Speak series, we caught up with him about his thoughts on Berlin, David Bowie and what he’s looking forward to at Bread & Butter…

Why do you think fashion and music have such a good relationship?

Fashion and music are linked on so many different levels. Both are about identity, beauty, sexuality, a sense of belonging, a tribalism. Every moment has a look and every look has a soundtrack.

What do you think of when you come to Berlin? Is David Bowie something you think about because he’s so associated with the city?

David Bowie and Berlin. It was one of his most amazing periods here working with Brian Eno doing Low, Lodger and experimenting. Bowie has always been a huge inspirational fashion icon because he went through so many different periods. He was an artist who never just stuck to one look. From glam rock—which is all about gender diversity—and ultra-theatrical self-expression through to the whole look of young Americans appropriating the zoot suit.

What do you like most about Berlin today?

Berlin, for me, represents a city as a crucible of culture, a salon of Europe. It’s where you have artists from all different disciplines in art—from music, film to fine arts—creating and making. There’s been such a thriving creative artistic scene here for so long. Berlin is a torchbearer for artistic freedom and self-expression.

When were you most bold in your career?

My boldest moments have been while working with others who’ve got extreme fearlessness and exceptional ideas. Also, not selling out has been one of the boldest things I’ve done.

What issues have you spoken up about through your work?

Dazed has always been a platform that’s very active and political. We’ve always championed issues that have been at the core of youth culture. On a personal level, empowering youth through creativity, the oceans, the environment, AIDS, Africa and human rights.