New International Fashion Magazine: Bullett

In the lobby of 115 W. 27th Street in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, two tall, thin girls scurry out of their sandals and into tremendous high heels. They speedily fiddle with the buckles in order to be well-heeled by the time the elevator arrives and takes them to the eighth floor where Bullett magazine is having a model casting.
 
I step into the elevator with them, exiting directly into the Bullett office of whitewashed walls, light hardwood floors and sleek, modern furniture. Perched languorously on sharply rectangular couches are more models wearing their best careless chic, sharp cheekbones and lush lips not hiding the nervousness in their eyes.
 

If I were them, I would be nervous too. In just two issues, Bullett has already made a splash in the fashion and culture communities as the only American outlet for “the younger luxury consumer’s creativity, elegance and individualism.” Its white pages cleanly swept with black text and minimalist design, it is very nearly the Alexander Wang of publications—a purveyor of young but worldly, intellectual but fabulous culture to the country’s freshest crop of innovators, movers and shakers.

Bullett’s audience is perhaps exemplified by its executive team. Editor-in-Chief Idil Tabanca is a savvy, passionate pixie-cut bleach blonde with bright red lips. Her feet are graced with fishnet socks and sky-high, open-toe grey wedges. Now 26, she once worked in film, digital media, production design and set design after graduating from UC Santa Cruz, before coming to Bullett. Creative Director Sah D’Simone, full of humor and lightness, exudes that same model-like careless chic in a blazer, red plaid shirt, avant-garde drop-crotch pants, and tassled loafers. He is 24, drawn to the print world after attending fashion school and working at Interview magazine. He seeks to be the publication’s curator, rather than designer. Art Director James Orlando is calm and eloquent at 23, a navy blazer resting on his shoulders, the cuffs of his khaki pants rolled slightly to reveal the dark socks in his loafers. A BFA from Cornell brought him to New York and before coming to Bullett, he worked with publications like Zink, Nylon, and Vice.

According to its mission statement, Bullett wishes “to inform, provoke, influence and enlighten through the mediums of fashion, beauty, music, film, art, entertainment, lifestyle and travel.” Additionally, “The Bullett voice speaks of an intelligent, raw and cultured perspective and bridges the increasingly fine line between edgy and topical movements in diverse art forms.” These diverse forms comprise a 360-degree creative agency of not just a print publication, but soon-to-be live events and an online network of series, short films and documentaries.
 
Central to Bullett’s vision is creativity, its appreciation and process. The magazine chooses talent for its pages that exemplify the Bullett mission—people who are true artists, leaders and innovators in the creative world, be it music and film or fashion and art. The publication then collaborates with the artists, letting them tell the world how they’d like to be seen. Tabanca says the magazine wants to redefine fame, to “break paparazzi culture and give artists more control over their presence and existence.” For example, in Bullett’s spring issue actress Carla Gugino helped devise the photoshoot in which she appears, based on vintage detective novels and film noir. The magazine has also featured artists like Kristen Wiig, Jena Malone, Stephen Moyer, Lupe Fiasco, Michelle Trachtenberg and Sarah Hyland. Ultimately, the goal of collaborating with the artists is “to give their power back for a positive message,” rewarding great accomplishments and talents instead of celebrating the meaningless, as we are so often wont to do in today’s culture.
 
Bullett began brewing on St. Patrick’s Day 2010, when D’Simone and Orlando realized a need for a magazine that really fed their interests along with another original founder, young fashion media entrepreneur Erin Ralph and  her co-founder brother Nick Ralph. Though the Ralphs later sold their shares of the project, Tabanca signed on to run Bullett with D’Simone and Orlando and the three have been practically inseparable since. Not long after, Bullett began its shot soon to be heard the world over. Working day and night from D’Simone’s tiny apartment on St. Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village, the three sweated through the summer, putting their publication together, blasting A/C through cigarette smoke and cooking at home to save money. They assembled photoshoots in the subways, Tabanca biking around and carrying equipment because they couldn’t afford cabs.
 
Eventually the three were able to take meetings with influencers all over Manhattan, showing a mock book of what they wanted the publication to look like. It wasn’t easy. “I got laughed at so many times,” D’Simone says. “But it’s all in you. It’s all in what you show them. Thinking of yourself as a magnet, the universe opens doors for you.” This magnetic thinking worked and after a while Bullett began receiving positive feedback and attracting investors who believed in them. The magazine launched online in summer 2010 and in print November 2010. It is now on its third issue, to be released June 2011 not only in the States but 12 additional countries worldwide.
 
It’s something to aspire to, certainly. Like Her Campus, Bullett came from young people with a dream. “We started this straight out of college,” Tabanca says. “The power you hold in your fingertips is unbelievable.” D’Simone agrees:“Kids don’t daydream anymore,” he says. “Take the time to wish for things. Put aside time to dream. Just be lost in your imagination.” Then, faster than a speeding Bullett, your dreams can become reality.
 
Check out Bullett for sale Barnes and Noble and online at www.bullettmagazine.com.
 
If you’re interested in working for Bullett, they’re looking for New York-based creative, hardworking, honest interns in Fashion, Video, Design, Marketing and Public Relations. Reach out to [email protected].

And here are some pages from the present issue, featuring Kristen Wiig and Sarah Hyland!