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Pacific Standard Magazine

This first issue of Pacific Standard is literally years in the making, from a concept that germinated while living in New York City to its execution upon returning to our native Northwest – during late nights and on weekends and whenever else time could be made or found. But its release, which we hope is the first of many to come, happens at a particularly exciting time to be living, working, and creating in our region. We hope you'll find that its contents help to illuminate the energy of our collective moment, and provide a small window into the shaping of a unique aesthetic that we are confident is poised for big things.

There are many more talented people, interesting places, and unique projects than one issue of a Northwest-focused publication could possibly cover, and we leave those for future exploration. But we are particularly proud of the people and stories that make up our inaugural issue, and are indebted to the many contributors and others who worked tirelessly with us to realize the ideas and produce the original content found in these pages.

For the cover story shot in Seattle and North Cascades National Park, model Abby Brothers, photographer Michael Donovan, and stylist Katie Burnett trooped across Seattle and into the mountains over the course of two long days, all displaying a true pioneer grit. The fire captured in the images that end the story was handily built by Abby herself; her ability to transition seamlessly from the city to the backwoods makes her a perfect Pacific Standard cover girl. In our other fashion editorials we travel from the original Ace Hotel in downtown Seattle with photographer Julie Cheek and stylist Ciara Ramos, to a dairy farm in Sedro Wooley, Washington with model Tyler Johnson, photographer Kyle Johnson, and stylist Alvin Stillwell, to the edge of the Washington coast with photographer Charlie Schuck and models Alexis Schuster and Ben Fife. The extraordinarily talented musicians who make the Northwest their home are represented in these pages by a series of portraits shot by Kyle Johnson, and by the limited edition flexi-disc of the original song composed for this first issue by Seattle band Flexions. And although covering the many artists and writers who are making work that speaks not only to the regional experience but that engages the broader artistic discourse would require an entire book, we are fortunate to be able to feature some whose names you will undoubtedly continue to hear: Matt Lifson, Victoria Haven, Eirik Johnson, Spencer Moody, Jay Clark, Izzie Klingels, Laura Cassidy, Ashley Helvey, and Lily Raskind. We revisit Seattle's history with a story by Jack Kerouac and a series of never-before published Polaroids taken during the filming of Streetwise, the iconic documentary by Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell. And along the way our contributors provide a lesson on yacht conversion, Northwest design, Washington State's burgeoning wine industry – and an up-close look at Northwesterners' favorite bivalves.

Work on this issue started in earnest just over a year ago with a special story on architect Tom Kundig, whose recently completed Lopez Island home for photographer Carol Bobo, Shadowboxx, forms the backdrop for an exploration of what it means to work and create in the Northwest. It seems fitting to come full circle almost exactly a year later with the issue's closing. Above all our goal is to provide a platform to explore the Northwest aesthetic; a place where the opposites that photographer Michael Donovan mentions in his interview at page 8 can live in happy juxtaposition. We occupy a unique region that allows us to embrace the seemingly contradictory but supremely complimentary poles of city concrete and the most remote wilderness, without needing to linger in between. Most importantly, perhaps, we remain a region of pioneers, close to the land and the water, and with infinite possibilities for innovation and experimentation.

Here's to the Great Northwest – our past, present, and future.

Emily Smith and Strath Shepard
Seattle, WA, May 2012
Download Press Release [PDF]

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