ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI on interning at INDIE and the importance of print

Alexandra Bondi de Antoni interned for INDIE in 2009. Since then, she has held leading positions at i-D and German Vogue, been named as one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Media talents, and been nominated for the German Journalism Prize. But despite working at some of the most prestigious outlets and building a stellar career for herself, some of her fondest memories are of INDIE, with whom she retains a close relationship (and, with Stachowitsch, a best friendship). Outspoken about the damaging pressures of the fashion industry and candid about her own struggles with mental health, she’s sentimental about the freedom and DIY-feel of INDIE’s adolescence. Here, Stachowitsch and Bondi de Antoni share personal memories about the early days, discuss INDIE’s often baffling trajectory, and give their takes on preserving independence and creativity in today’s difficult media climate.

Pixie Geldof, Alexa Chung and Sky Ferreira by Matthew Hitt, Issue 32, 2011

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: When I interned at INDIE, I was able to just publish my texts— while other people learned writing in journalism school. Your feedback was harsh sometimes, but it helped. It also nurtured my love for young designers and all things up-and-coming. I learned so much from you and Clemens: it felt like you had eyes and ears everywhere. And I was 19 at the time; I didn’t have a clue.

KIRA STACHOWITSCH: When you talk about it like that, it makes me nostalgic for the DIY-ness of it all. Really, we had no clue either. We were also learning by doing.

‘Nothing I Can Describe’ by Ren Hang, Issue 52, 2016  

KIRA STACHOWITSCH: There have been so many moments in running this magazine when I’ve thought, ‘Yeah, it’s nice not to know how it’s done and find your own path, but boy do I wish I had some sort of training or experience to draw from.’ We had to learn everything the hard way, and that takes so much longer.

‘Industry Standard’ by Dorothy Sing Zhang and Rachael Rodgers, Issue 63, 2019 
‘Fire Walk with Me’ by Camille Vivier and Leopold Duchemin, Issue 61, 2018 
Ottolinger Special by Nickolas Lorieux and Serena Pompei, Issue 64, 2019
Eckhaus Latta Special by Laurent Amiel & Scott Shapiro, Issue 63, 2019

KIRA STACHOWITSCH: It felt very freeing to shift INDIE from a purely music-focused publication to one that explores culture at large, asking questions like, ‘What is the underlying cultural theme of that time? How can we express that through imagery? What does the way that we dress say about these kinds of societal movements?’ I think this pivot happened quite early on.

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: Freedom is often the missing piece… Obviously the more money you have, the more you can do in terms of working with certain talent, or having ambitious projects. But with independent magazines, you don’t have to answer to advertisers to the same extent. You won’t have big fashion houses making deals for four or five of your magazines at once. So I really think ‘freedom’ is what I started missing the bigger the publication got. 

Francois Sagat by Clara Nebeling and Dogukan Nesanir, Issue 55, 2017
Cynthia Nixon by Thomas McCarty and Rachael Rodgers, Issue 63, 2019

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: For me, INDIE is not about business. It is, and always has been, about having fun and creating things.

‘Cherry Bomb’ by Iñigo Awewave and Rachael Rodgers, Issue 66, 2021
‘Edward Enninful’s Day Off’ by Juergen Teller, Issue 67, 2022
‘Kiko’ by Hedvig Jenning and Dogukan Nesanir, Issue 63, 2019

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: INDIE’s been around for 20 years. That’s such a long time! But one way it succeeded was that it always found its niche. There are magazines that have stayed the same for the last 20 years, and that works. But what makes INDIE stand out for me is that it was always so in-tune with what was happening culturally and aesthetically—it was willing to adapt in a way few media platforms would. Some people might say, ‘Okay, it doesn’t have a steady, consistent art direction, or a steady aesthetic.’ But who cares?

KIRA STACHOWITSCH: That’s really nice to hear. It’s so liberating to let go of this idea that a magazine must be consistent. I think that has really propelled us forward over the last few years. We always want to keep moving, and we always want to keep pushing for what ‘INDIE’ is—even though that might be confusing to some, as it’s a bit of a shapeshifter for a print magazine. Considering how harsh things have become for print media, especially for independent publications, I think the concept of delivering a magazine that always appears in the same shape is a concept of the past.

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: That’s something I always found fascinating and inspiring about INDIE—how you were always fighting for budgets, and doing everything all at once, but never ever being afraid to try something new. 

Jared Leto by Daria Kobayashiritch and Sean Knight, Issue 57, 2017

ALEXANDRA BONDI DE ANTONI: It’s super nice to open an issue of INDIE and not really know how it will look.

Loading next Article