22 Jul
There’s more to this pig than a fresh coat of lipstick


The days of magazines just being another magazine on the newsstand are pretty much over. If you’re really going to connect with fans, you need to offer more. It’s about building a community around what you do. That’s one the things I really like about Milan’s Pig magazine—their relationship with readers is on a level few other magazines can achieve. Set aside the fact that each new issue is like a trump card for their competition…brothers Daniel and Simon Beckerman, the brains behind it all, unify Milan’s music, fashion and artistic clique. It’s a lifestyle in the truest sense of the word. There’s Pig Radio, Pig Parties, and Retrosuperfuture (aka Super), their sunglass offshoot. If you haven’t picked up on them by now, get on it… There is more to this Pig than a fresh coat of lipstick.

We caught up with Daniel and Simon for a chat a little while back to talk about Milan’s scene, the inspiration behind what they do and the future. Make the jump to read our interview.

Before that, though, I thought I’d share these new Ciccio Grigio Topo Super sunglasses. The thicker frames add a level of nerdiness that I really like. You can pick ’em up via Caliroots.


Here are a few of our favorite covers:

What do you like most about Milan? What do you like least?
Simon Beckerman: Milan is a great city because it’s the only real “international” city in Italy but at the same time it’s heart is Italian. Milan lives during the week and dies in weekends, especially in summer when people leave to go in the beautiful Italian countryside to relax and have good food. In fact we are close to everything, mountains, sea, historical and cultural towns. Milan is a good mix of everything. What we like least is that there aren’t enough good concerts. And also food shops close at 7:30. I work till late so my fridge is always empty!

Pig magazine is independently published, right? What got you into the magazine game?
Internet mainly. Daniel and I grew up in Art Schools learning all the classic Italian art and history. When Internet arrived it opened our minds. It made it much easier for us to discover new things and remain in contact with what happened around the world. And we indeed discovered that there was a whole new world out there to see. From art to technology, from fashion to music. So we wanted to project all this to the people around us. At the time we were a graphic design studio so we got together people that shared our same interests, used all the money earned and produced the first copies of the magazine! At the time we began, there wasn’t broadband Internet so I remember we used to share a modem between all of us to do the mag.

Talk to me about Pig magazine, Pig Radio, Pig Parties and their place in the local scene.
PIG Mag and Radio are mainly a showcase for young and deserving talented artists. People who today we call influentials, trendsetters or early adopters. We love to make interviews and tell the world about them, or their creations. PIG radio was born from the need to let people actually hear the music that we feature on our magazine. It’s an online web radio that roughly has around 350.000 listeners a month, which is not only a lot for an Internet radio but also if we consider the kind of music we broadcast. The curious thing is that many musical artists we interview tell us they listen to the radio because we play music they never heard of! Parties are a consequence. As much as we love to “show” people what’s cool around the world, we love to have parties so they (and us) can all have fun. So when we organize one we concentrate on the basics. What really make people have fun. So we try to do it as simple as possible. No prevailing concepts. No stupid excuses. Just a good location, our favorite music artists, and a clear message: relax and fun. PIG parties are considered the most fun parties in Milan, to a point that we cannot even promote them anymore otherwise we will find ourselves with 4000 people outside of the club all pushing to get in!

You’re doing Pig magazine in English now. Why?
When we began, our references were magazines like The Face, I-D and Dazed. Because they are the pioneers in what everyone now calls street style. They genuinely went in the streets and captured the essence of what would be the trends for the years to come. The first issues of our magazines were not even close to the quality of these magazines. And we think we have a lot of road in front of us still. But only recently we started to discover that people loved us also abroad. Even if they don’t understand Italian. And this is probably because in everything we do what emerges is the enthusiasm we put in it. As I said we try to keep it simple and fresh. Something that probably those English magazines aren’t anymore. So we decided to plan an international edition. Only in English. We are organizing it now. We decided to take advantage of this to freshen up everything. Introduce new sections and a slightly new look, which will be launched with the English version along with the Italian one.

You’ve got a lot going on, why start Super?
Being also fashion magazine we get to see what early adopters wear everyday, and feature in fashion editorials. Also Sean, our fashion director loves and collects vintage sunglasses. What we saw is that everyone was starting to wear all colors vintage sunglasses (nearly all of which were made in china to the lowest quality). Daniel also noted that in fashion tradeshows like Bread & Butter there was no sunglasses brand that produced this particular kind of shades. So he had the idea of starting a business. We live in Milan, which is in north of Italy, the area were the best sunglasses in the world are made. So it seemed perfect for him to think of making these in all colors and in the best quality. It’s very difficult to make sunglasses in Italy because the producers are all small and old style, many of them are family businesses and don’t even have emails! But they are generations of families that do this for living and have it in their blood. And that’s all part of the fun :)

How hands on are you with all your different projects?
It’s like a Luna park! We jump from an attraction to the other, often while it’s running! Daniel and I are partners and we usually take all the decisions together, but for all day work he does the Business-running job while I get to be the creative asshole :) We also have a dog in the office that always barks when someone enters. And our meeting room is right next to the entrance so when a deliveryman comes in, he regularly interrupts our very important meetings! Our team is growing bigger by the day and we don’t even have enough desks in the office so we bought a couple of sofas and expanded our wifi so people can work on the sofa. Only now that the sunglasses business is growing so fast, and that we are doing an English edition we start to realize that we probably need to become a bit more serious and organized…

Would you say that Pig magazine represents what’s happening in Milan right now or is it a reflection of culture on a global scale?
PIG mag is a team of people who try to feature what they like most. Our first rule is never talk about what we don’t like. And we probably are lucky because our tastes gets a lot of positive confirms so we really don’t know to what extent we are influencing and how much we are influenced. I think it’s the right mix of both. On the other hand, in Italy we’re the only magazine of this kind so we can be considered a reference to what happens globally in the emerging side of the music/fashion/arts. PIG radio on the other side probably influences a lot of musical tastes around the world. Mainly because most of the music is unheard before.

Who, in your view, will be some of the most important, provocative and influential artists to emerge from Milan’s underground culture?
Giorgio from Vanguard clothing label.

How, if at all, has local club culture changed recently? What are your thoughts on the current situation and where do you see the scene in a few years?
In the past years the club scene in Milan wasn’t very good. Only recently the city has discovered this global trend brought by realities like myspace, mp3 blogs, the crossover between dance and rock music, and probably also our work. It seems that something is moving in the good direction, but Italians should never forget what historically our country has produced in the areas of disco in the 80’s and dance in the 90’s. Cult phenomenon’s that are already very well appreciated outside our boundaries, and that’s why for the future we would like to see less hard, techno music and more melody. It’s happier and in a dancefloor it can be shared with friends. I hate seeing thousands of people dance on their own. Also, I personally don’t like clubs very much. I’d really like to see more small parties. House parties, loft parties, garden parties, dinner/dance parties or even clubs but small. Places where you know that in a way or the other everyone is a friend to each other. I don’t know what the future will be but on our part that is the direction we would like to move to. I’m also pleased when I see that big fashion brands like Gucci, Armani, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana (all based here in Milan) see what we do and try to follow our musical trends when organizing events.

It seems that one can travel to Paris, New York, LA, Berlin, Sydney, and there is a very similar aesthetic—in dress, sound, vibe, etc. What do you think are the positives, negatives of this new global clique?
It’s good to see that today we can have (and stay in touch) with people all over the world on a daily basis. That reduces our need to travel to learn certain things about others. But I remember when I was 16 and internet didn’t exist, no one had a cell phone (yes I’m old :) and every time I traveled back and forth to London or Paris I used to come back with a suitcase filled of stuff and a thousand stories to tell. My friends are starting to travel to Dubai only because they know nothing about that place. It’s exciting and reminds of old times. I miss going to London’s Black Market just to buy never heard of records, but generally I think this is all good because it let’s us concentrate on what’s really important, which is to socialize with people in a healthy way. I still think though that there are certain things that globalization cannot reach. Every country has it’s own and it’s up to people with a real will to discover to live them. Italy is still in a good position for that, even if today the Tuscany hills are nearly all property of foreigners :)

On the music side, everything has changed in positive. Finally thanks to the interweb we can listen to really good music. Major labels are all on the road of death and there’s no turning back. I wonder though why myspace has never set up a service that lets people sell their music through their page. I think it would be another great revolution and could also give a final stroke to big record labels.

8 Responses to “Pig Magazine”

  1. […] much a magazine junkie. For the ones that provide superior content anyway. Like Milan’s Pig magazine. As much as I like the immediacy of the web, nothing can replace the experience walking up […]

  2. […] been fans of the work of the brothers Beckerman, Daniel and Simon, for awhile now (read our Q&A). They first caught our eyes as the publishers of PIG magazine, but we also fiend on their eyewear […]

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