At 08.45 on March 4th, in 25 countries, including Ukraine, 150 radio stations opened their morning programmes by simultaneously transmitting the notes of a song by John Lennon. We imagined those musical notes, and those simple words written many years ago, rolling across the rooftops and in between the houses, in the bars at breakfast time, inside the headphones of teenagers on the tube, coming out of the radios of cars stuck in traffic jams in this old continent shocked by the tragedy of war; and we wanted to make available the most precious thing that a magazine has, its cover, to let them play on for a little while longer.
Give peace a chance.
They are written on the cover, over the image of a white dove and of a woman photographed without makeup. Anja Rubik is not just a top model: she is a courageous activist, personally involved for many years against the obscurantist leanings of her native Poland. Her foundation supports sex education for adolescents and the struggles of the Polish LGBTQ+ community. Right now, as we write, with Poland standing on the edge of conflict, Anja, like thousands of her compatriots, has rushed to the border with Ukraine to help refugees to find transport, accommodation, even just simple mattresses. In the space of a few days she has passed from the catwalks of Paris to the refugee camps on the Ukrainian border: the visual contrast is brutal, even disturbing.
But it gives an idea of how frighteningly distant and yet so incredibly close our lives are, our daily appointments, the jobs we do, the large and small things we consider important, and of what is happening a few hundred kilometres from us.
Like never before, in these anxious times everything is political. Including fashion. As the second cover of this issue says clearly, with an image from the magnificent photo-shoot by Paolo Roversi which features a non-binary casting.
Fashion can’t not be political because it is a universal language.
It is an art (albeit a minor one) that has a strong voice, an infinite audience, a mediatic and economic capability to opinion-form just as much as, and according to some studies even more than, governments.
It communicates a lot, certainly not all of it important, but when it does so it contributes in a not inconsiderable way to moving our society a few steps forward.
When we started work on this issue, the bombing of Kyiv was unimaginable.
But we had already decided to tell the story of the ways and forms in which fashion, and more generally pop culture, has in recent years shown its readiness to face up to current affairs, to reality.
This is the thread that you will find running through the following pages: stories of a subtle power that can bring about changes both great and small in our way of thinking, one that makes us confront the drive, coming especially from the younger generation, toward a world that is more inclusive, more sustainable, more just, giving visibility to issues of civil rights, gender equality, for a society that is more tolerant and open to diversity.
It is no accident that these are the very same campaigns that our daily paper, Repubblica, has taken forward ever since its foundation.
So it seemed to us that this was the right place to begin a new chapter in the history of the magazine, which today undergoes a profound change, but it does so keeping in mind the pillars upon which it was founded some 26 years ago: great journalism combined with the strength of photography, the pleasure of a quality read to which you can dedicate a few hours over the weekend, a sober and reasonable approach to consuming and to leisure time.
There are so many new things, and so many thankyous that I have to say to the people who made them all possible, that I’d risk missing someone out if I tried to list them all – but I owe a heartfelt thankyou to the entire editorial team which, whilst working on recent issues, found the time, ideas and energy to plan the new magazine; and a thankyou to the management at Repubblica for the friendship and the support it shows to us each day.
The graphic design is new, the new format is wider: this improves the readability by making it more manageable, and heightens the impact of the photography which is very much at the heart of our project.
The logo is new: the d, which for the first time becomes lower case and is moved into the top right corner of the cover, clearly marks a new chapter (we don’t much like those who raise their voice, and the lower case d symbolises that they who have a strong argument have no need to shout in order to be listened to).
The opinion columns are a coming together of new contributors and old friends of this magazine: I say this with pride, no other weekly can boast such a stable of writers like the one you’ll find in these pages. Some of them will accompany us every week, others once or twice a month, still others will be added along the way.
The gamut of topics covered is new, and this week that can be witnessed to its maximum extent, due to the pagination that reflects the faith with which GEDI News Network, Manzoni, and our advertisers, welcome this adventure.
We will take you around the world, as well as to those presumedly ‘minor’ Italian towns, with the journalists and contributors of Gedi News Network.
You will find a selection, curated by our writers, of what to read, watch, and listen to this week: few in number and carefully chosen, so as to respect the time that you dedicate to reading us, which we know is precious.
More still: interviews both short and long, new journalistic formats, many of which are dedicated to the theme of female empowerment, something that was close to this magazine’s heart long before it became trendy.
Big interviews, stories, investigations. Fashion and Beauty are covered by a formidably talented international team.
And finally, the places: the houses, the journeys, the cities. With the last page entrusted as it has been from the very first issue to Umberto Galimberti, forming an ideal bridge between the D that was, and the d that begins today.
The quality of a monthly, with the frequency of a weekly. Intelligent writing and the power of images.
A re-designed digital offering (follow the new Instagram profile @drepubblicait) and the authoritativeness of a proudly print version.
This is the formula of the new d. There are magazines born to give their readers what they are expecting, then there are others who have the privilege of continuously re-inventing themselves so as to offer their readers the pleasure of the unexpected. d, by tradition, is part of that select second group: each week we shall work with all the passion at our disposal to meet your desire to be surprised.