SHK Editor-in-Chief Rachel Eleanor Sutton explains the story behind SHK.

editor-rachel-sutton

I hide from cameras and I don’t care.

In the past, if someone said the word “blog” to me, I would probably just look around the room for someone to hold my hair back while I vomit. I just didn’t get it… It seemed ridiculous that anyone could make a living by putting on cute clothes and mastering a confused facial expression. Now, before you start yelling “objection!”, let me jump in and explain that it only recently occurred to me that I wasn’t just hating on these girls (and boys), I actually did not understand what they were doing. The bottom line is this: I’m not a shopper. I know what you’re thinking… If I’m not a shopper, then why the hell am I the Editor-in-Chief of a mostly fashion-based outlet? Let me expand on this.

It’s impossible for me to read any glossy magazine, website or book without noticeably or subconsciously studying everything I consume. This has been going on since way before it became apparent that fashion would be a part of my career. I grew up in a small, low-key Florida town on the beach (I’d tell you the name, but believe me, you wouldn’t know it anyways). Everyday was filled with Rainbow Sandals, throw-on dresses and random pieces of clothing that emanated effortless-babe status. Heels? Forget it. I didn’t actively wear a pair of those until college. Even so, during those times, while my friends could be found skateboarding on their latest ramp creation, I was most likely sitting to the side with the latest issue of Vogue — pen, highlighter and sticky notes in tow. It’s really weird to look back and remember that, especially since this isn’t one of “those stories.” I never whispered up into the night sky and wished to become Anna Wintour. Errm. No.

In college, I was a creative writing major; I spent a lot of time sorting through fiction and I had a true passion for ethnographic narrative. All I wanted to do after school was live on the beach, write books and marry Jack Johnson… But the summer before my senior year, I took an internship in Boston at a teeny-tiny publication that offered me loads of responsibility. During that experience, it dawned on me why I had this compulsive magazine obsession. Remember when you were little, and your teachers started making you read the books with no pictures? I guess I never got over that. The exciting and inspiring thing about mag editorial is its ability to organize words, thoughts and stories with mind-blowing images. Once I realized that, I knew what I wanted to do. So when the time came, I jumped on the cliché wagon and headed to New York to join the picture-book-making industry.

[Fast forward three bizarre years — serving Jell-O shots, slave labor interning, getting kicked out of my Williamsburg loft by a crazy vegan chef, accidentally telling all of NYC how I’d broken my bed, smoking cigarettes in Kid Cudi’s apartment (he’s one inspiring dude), having a boss steal and pawn my favorite diamond earrings, developing a phobia of the train that now costs me $$$ in therapy sessions, finally buying a bike only to get hit by a car the next day, loosing all my “friends” because they were awful, dating guys that are punch line’s to the most ludicrous of jokes… You get the idea.]

rachel-picture-style-coffee

Here we are now, in a digitally emerging world where the line defining the difference between magazines, blogs, blogazines, magablogs or whatever, has become as blurry as my Friday nights. I can’t think about how quickly everything is changing or I’m likely to end up alone in my room, pealing off what I believe to be yellow wallpaper. So in a minor effort to keep what sanity I have left, I’ve decided to stop overanalyzing, take what I know and go with it.

Sure the advancements on the information highway can be thrilling, but they also leave ample room for boredom. Everything I discover these days is either too mainstream and in decline of any creative edge, or way too avant-garde and completely inaccessible. OK, so now I get it. I finally understand what’s so great about these streetstyle blogs… They sift through all that bullshit and get straight to the fashion. I actually do appreciate this.

Succumbing to blurb style writing, eliminating great features and aggregating content was, however, not an option for an avid writer and magazine enthusiast such as myself. I needed to find a happy medium that, most importantly, had a little personality to back it up. So I created my own. Thus, SHK was born. I understand now — and I don’t give a shit how unprofessional it is to say this — but I understand that I wasn’t looking at fashion, music and art content as a consumer. I was looking at it as an editor. I just don’t shop online, I shop actively in person then I translate that to my readers. And that’s what you’ll get here. We refuse to just regurgitate information. SHK is an editorial outlet embracing today’s cultural conversation by providing an atmosphere for creativity to be seen, be heard and be known… No matter how absurd that conversation may become.

I dropped my phone in the toilet on our cover shoot for the spring issue, so here I'm giving it a good blow job.

I dropped my phone in the toilet on location during our cover shoot, so above, I’m giving it a good blow job.

Side notes for reading Seen Heard Known:

You won’t learn things like, “pink is the new black.” If you’re one of our readers, you most likely already know the current season’s trends.

We won’t fill you in on any Hollywood news, such as which dude Taylor Swift has chosen as her latest fling. But we will give her props when props are due (I love her, BTW and we totes have the same birthday).

You will never find out “who wore what.” Basically, we don’t care what people wear; we like to think about how they wear it.

If we feature somebody or interview any talent, you will not read the same interview you’ve already read on major outlets. Here, you’re most likely to get a narrative. For example, our Managing Editor — Emily — interviewed a band for our spring issue. On her way to the video shoot with the guys in the group, she broke her toe with a bottle of wine. After her toe basically exploded, turned completely black and blue then barely fit into her suede platforms, we thought it was a good idea to just drink the wine… And then keep drinking. A lot. We took those guys out to a few Brooklyn bars. Emily ended up drinking so much to avoid her pain, that she missed her anniversary dinner with her boyfriend, and while all this was going on, the bass player randomly kissed me. Even though it was a weird/amusing night, we managed to get excellet insight into this particular band (more so than a taciturn email Q&A or phone interview). Just from taking the time to actually hang out with these guys, we were able to capture the “personality behind the artist.” Don’t get me wrong, we’re professionals. But we aren’t conventional in the corporate sense and definitely want to give you a story that’s both entertaining and informative — even when it comes to fashion, music, beauty and art. That’s what we do here. Sure, it’s not always going to be wine and broken bones, but it will be conspicuous. If it’s not… I wont put it up.

Get to know myself, Emily, Romy, Brady, Elizabeth and Seoyeon, and all our other guest contributors. We aren’t scared to share our opinion, we certainly aren’t afraid to hear yours and we’ll let you know what’s really going on behind the content you’re consuming.

Until next week,
xRachel (@racheleleanors)

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