Independent media company and creative content studio LOOKBOOK has acquired beloved South African décor and design title House and Leisure. Launched in 1993 by Jane Raphaely, the magazine’s last issue was circulated in April 2020 following the closure, and subsequent liquidation, of Associated Media Publishing in May 2020.
LOOKBOOK was co-founded in mid-2020 by entrepreneur Pieter Bruwer and creative director and editor Charl Edwards, who was the editor at the helm of House and Leisure when it closed. In addition to a passion for décor and design, they share the conviction that print is not dead. Rather they believe in the value of the editor’s eye and the potential of premium niche publishing.
LOOKBOOK aims to showcase, spotlight and support the décor and design industry by crafting editorially driven content for its own digital and print platforms and for brands. “With an agile digital-first brand like LOOKBOOK and a respected established print-first brand like House and Leisure we want to appeal to a broad audience of design lovers and celebrate the incredible talent in the South African décor and design industry, as well as the writers, editors, photographers and creatives who help bring those stories to light,” says Pieter.
As for the challenges that plague the publishing industry globally, Pieter admits there’s no silver bullet. “We will have to do a number of things right in order to make it work and ultimately the biggest factor in doing something differently is the people you involve: That includes the team that we have already put in place at LOOKBOOK Studio, and our plans in terms of involving a diverse network of creatives and editors. We’re focused on building boutique brands that are customer and reader focused; understanding audience; developing strategic partnerships; and providing something unique to our readers.”
For House and Leisure’s relaunch, intended for the first quarter of 2021, Charl Edwards will take up the position of Editor-in-Chief. “Work on the relaunch issue is already underway and we’re very excited to see the title returning to newsstands and the hands, hearts and homes of print-lovers around the country,” says Charl. “We’ll be staying true to the brand’s incredible legacy and honouring what readers loved most about it, while ensuring we evolve and direct the brand into its next phase. Watch this space!”