Kiwis are curious creatures, and I’m not talking about the bird. A common cure for this curiosity is to jet off on an OE. So how do you satiate that yearning for multicultural tastes when you’ve returned to your patch Down Under?
If you’re Stacey Childs, you start your own online magazine that celebrates lives of creative people around the globe. Born and raised in Feilding, 25-year-old Childs’ OE was spent in Japan and Paris. “Getting out of the country is the best thing. Being able to look at New Zealand from an outside point of view is so rewarding and opens you up to ideas.”
Childs calls her new venture Disco Underworld, and released the first edition in November last year. Already ten issues old, Disco Underworld brings together visual graphics and photography with vibrant stories from an international array of writers. It’s about people from all over the world, though not in a way that National Geographic would recognise.
Each issue has a different theme, such as ‘things the world should know more about’ and the recent ‘rhythm and noise’ issue. Childs describes its content as “opening a window into normal people’s lives”.
Her year in Paris has influenced the layout and style of the magazine. Like Paris, it is simple, classic and elegant—with a bit of 21st century funk thrown in for good measure.
And how often do you get asked, “How would you like your magazine served?” Disco Underworld lets you take your pick of slideshow, PDF, as a blog or on paper. The first print edition of the magazine, dubbed the ‘Gold Edition’, is due this year.
Wait, what’s that—an online mag moving into print? “If your content is right I don’t believe print is dead, and I believe the content in Disco is valuable for people,” Childs says. “Next year we’d love to see three or four print editions.”
Childs is also keen for Disco Underworld to have a baby sister. A hip, musical sister. The potential is being tested with the ‘rhythm and noise’ issue. Judging by its reception so far, Childs is positively upbeat.