Canadian Magazine Industry News
25 January 2012,     TORONTO
Veteran editor fashions a new online magazine for global community
A Toronto-based publisher is fashioning a new online magazine that will capture styles from around the globe.

Hina Ansari is the founder/publisher of Ramp1885.com, a new site that will cast a spotlight on the lesser known fashion centres, she said. "There's like a million and two fashion [publications] out there," she said. "A lot of the fashion [sites] out there focus on the main capitals — Milan, Paris, New York, London — what I wanted to do is talk about cities that aren't covered, that people don't really talk about."

 


She has a network of freelance writers and photographers around the globe, and she is also accepting submissions, noting she recently published a fashion story out of Glasgow, Scotland, from someone who found her magazine through a search engine. "People really want to be a part of this, the fashion students and bloggers, they want this because there's nothing out there like this," said Ansari. "It's completely open to people who want to tell a fashion story from their neighbourhood."

While the site "soft-launched" on Dec. 1, she plans an official "virtual" launch in the spring, she said. She is shying away from holding a launch party at a venue because she doesn't want the international community who can't make it to Toronto to be left out, she said.

Attached to the launch will be a month-long contest [likely in April] fed through social media to promote the publication. People who sign on to the newsletter [to be delivered each Wednesday] as well as connect through Facebook and Twitter will be eligible. One name will be drawn and that person will receive the "Ramp Kit" — a prize pack including fashion items donated from international designers. That's also a "tease for an online store I'm working on" for later in the year, she added.

She didn't share ad rates, noting she's still working on those details. But there will be ad opportunities on the site and the newsletter. Since Dec. 4 the site has had 6,000 page views with 2,000 unique visitors, according to Ansari, who added people are spending an average of seven minutes per visit.

Ansari is no stranger to the world of fashion writing; she has years of experience as the entertainment/photo editor for Flare magazine, while also contributing to Hello! magazine (Canada) and serving as editor-in-chief for Anokhi magazine, a long-running South Asian fashion, style, entertainment glossy. She noted the online newspaper Huffington Post, which she blogs for, has created a Ramp1885 page in its style section to publish select articles.

There are no plans for a print magazine yet — "print is very expensive" — but Ansari is toying with the idea of a coffee table book comprised of all the fashion photos.

Oh, and the thinking behind the name Ramp1885? Apparently, according to Ansari, 1885 marks the first year a catwalk — also called a ramp — was used to show off fashions.
— Jeff Hayward
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