INFRINGE Issue #1 launched today in London (UK) – a celebration of the art & culture that surrounds hair! With INFRINGE, Anthony & Pat Mascolo go one step further, invading the wider world of hair and art.
Anthony Mascolo believes in pushing his creativity – as far as it will go. After opening his personal studio, The Library Space, a beautiful Victorian building in Battersea, South London, he started shooting his own artistic imagery, experimenting with new concepts and ideas. Together with his makeup director, wife Pat, fashion stylist Jiv D, his son Joshua and a pool of other creative hairdressers with whom he’d worked for many years, Anthony began creating exciting imagery with the aim of producing an online magazine to promote his work.
This original concept quickly changed. Two things happened. Anthony’s middle child, daughter, Alexandra, was studying for a degree in Anthropology. Talking to her about the content of her course, Anthony and Pat came up with the idea of: “an anthropology” of hair.” At the same time Anthony realized he should follow his long-held goal of finding and promoting talent and so INFRINGE was ‘born’, aiming to show an alternative view of hairdressing, hair, photography and art.
Over the last 2 years Anthony has built a small internal team of photographers, film-makers, graphic designers, writers and editors who have researched, interviewed and created content for online publication www.infringe.com Undoubtedly, the online content is inspiring and unique, but for Anthony a tangible magazine remains his ultimate inspiration and of course, this is also true of many people, particularly those seeking artistic inspiration. The first issue of INFRINGE launched today in the UK: the first issue is on-sale in WH Smith across the UK and at airports.
What does INFRINGE mean to you?
A&P: “We are always looking for new ways to move our work forwards. After working together for almost 40 years, we work seamlessly and find we both need continual creative goals to inspire us. After all, we don’t want to spend all of our lives on holiday! We strongly believe in building teams, creating opportunity for others, finding talent, showing hair and art are closely linked. With our team at INFRINGE, the amazing people who have contributed to the first issue and though our online content, we have created a new platform that’s certainly inspired us and taken our own work to a different place. INFRINGE means we can be experimental, we can trespass on what is seen as the norm in the world of hair and intrude into the true art domain.“
After all these years are you still passionate about hair?
A&P: “As hairdressers we know hair can give a person a huge change. Primarily it’s a person’s image and style statement. Changing a hairstyle can dramatically change how a person looks, how they feel and are seen by others. It’s mood-changing, it can give an aura of strength or can soften, it can create a feeling of fun or seriousness. Being able to make such a difference is inspirational. Observing what people do with their hair is always fascinating – whether or not you like the result!“
How did you come up with the concept of INFRINGE?
A&P: “When we first bought The Library Space we spent quite a long time redesigning the interior within the limitations of what was permitted. (Originally called The Tate Library, the building once housed a Victorian library, opened by the Tate family to provide books to the poor of South London.) Once we’d finished the building we began creating a curated space for our archives. Whilst the curation is ongoing, we needed a new project and decided to shoot more artistic and experimental work to inspire ourselves and our immediate hairdressing team, placing the results online. We quickly realized what we were doing shouldn’t just be about us, but about artists, photographers, crazy, mad hairdressers, session stylists and the hairdressers creating the latest amazing work.“
How long has it taken to create the first issue of INFRINGE?
A&P: “We probably spent at least a year talking about creating a magazine – what it would look like, feel like and include. We also spent hours brain-storming, researching before pulling a team together – all long before the actual work began. We’d say it’s taken 12 months to get to where we are now: establishing the website, creating social media pages and finally the magazine. The first issue is a complete anthology of our first year and contains everything we’ve worked on from the very start until now. Finally being able to do a beautiful print version is amazing, and we want people to not only own it, but to keep it. We ‘re so happy and proud with the results. The stories and images take on a different feeling in print – which we love.”
Has the initial messaging of INFRINGE remained or did it evolve organically as the work progressed?
A&P: “It’s definitely changed or rather developed in diverse ways. It started as an interpretation of our creative forms and has become a wider understanding of hair. What’s exciting about INFRINGE is that it’s up to us. We can take it in any direction we want, as we are the decision-makers. That feels great.“
Some of the content is extraordinary. How have you come across it?
A&P: “Some of the sections have evolved organically – in general we’re open to change. We’ve created a lot of content, but we also work with many contributors and each section has given us its own challenges. When we cover events, visit places or meet people (INFRINGE.com has so far covered a hardcore punk festival, a barbershop owned by the oldest working barber in the world and a hair museum in the California desert) there’s always the challenge of getting people to open-up their lives to us. Remember, we’re telling the story of hair from a point of view that is ‘on the fringes’ of what’s normally viewed as hairdressing, that means travelling to far-flung places and often meeting wonderfully unusual people to gain unique stories and images.“
Who is INFRINGE aimed at?
A&P: “INFRINGE is primarily devoted to people with a love of the medium of hair – but that’s not just the hairdresser. We’re talking to barbers and wigmakers, photographers and filmmakers, artists and cultural activists – in fact anyone and everyone who thinks about challenging the usual perceptions of hair and its role in shaping an individual’s sense of identity.“
How do you see the online platform developing?
A&P: “The online platform is really great as we can constantly update it and put out new material every week. It’s always evolving, which appeals to many people today – especially the younger generation. This will continue growing and developing. There will be one issue of INFRINGE in-print this year… and then we’ll see.“
With your son Joshua now a well-established hairdresser, did you see this as a family venture?
A&P: “We’ve got 3 children and they’re all involved with INFRINGE in some way. Josh has worked with us on some of our shoots, our eldest daughter Georgina is responsible for much of the still life imagery in INFRINGE and our younger daughter, Alexandra, (Alex) is currently working as part of the team as a copywriter. It was also Alex who made us view the content of INFRINGE as “an anthropology”. She’s studied the subject at university and sharing her passion and knowledge for her subject gave us the idea of collating the world of hair in one publication.“
Apart from you and your children, who is behind INFRINGE?
A&P: “We believe in working with like-minded people. Everyone working on INFRINGE was already connected with us in some way, but now their roles have changed or developed. The two key members are Emma de Clercq and Nathan Dytor, who challenge every idea, spend hours researching and contacting potential contributors and work on the development of every aspect of INFRINGE. We’re the only hairdressers but they’ve all been thrown into our world and interestingly have a very different perspective and approach to the subject that has been a huge bonus. We love that everyone has very different ideas –it can be challenging but it’s lead to some brilliant content.“
Where can people buy INFRINGE?
A&P: “In the UK INFRINGE will be on sale in selected branches of W.H. Smith and from art and culture shops around the country. It will also be on sale in France, in Colette, Paris and in a small number of outlets around the globe. Importantly, INFRINGE can be purchased online from www.infringe.com where there will be a list of stockists across the globe.“