14 September 2010

Olivier Zahm, b. 1964, France

with Lara Stone

In the space of twenty-odd years, the Frenchman has mutated his magazine from Purple Prose to Purple Sex, to its current incarnation, and Purple Fashion—which includes some prose and sex in spades. For the last year, Purple's blossomed as an online form, blending friends and beautiful women and a passion for debauchery into a glamorous and messy lifestyle guide to the worldof the man and his magazines.

with Terence Koh, photographed by Magnus Unnar

"People recognise him by his signature tousled hair and stubble, a pair of tear-drop sunglasses, a tight-fitting leather jacket, pointy boots, a gold wristwatch… an intriguing mix of sexiness and discretion."
"This is a disguise," explains Zahm. "Five or six years ago, I decided to wear this kind of outfit and behave as if I were a celebrity. It's not out of narcissism. It's for the magazine. For an independent magazine to exist, I had to incarnate it personally."

with Catherine Deneuve

Olivier Zahm’s love of women is well documented, not least by Zahm himself on his Web site, www.purple-diary.com. But the French editor and founder of the twice-yearly independent publication Purple Fashion has many other passions: art, fashion, his daily uniform of white or gray jeans and black Yves Saint Laurent leather jacket, parties, freedom. There may be an element of self-promotion behind some of this, but in an increasingly conformist world, Zahm offers an original, entertaining, and astute voice. 

with Terry Richardson

Zahm is currently working on a biography of Carine Roitfeld, set to be published Autumn 2011 by Rizzoli.


See this interview with nymag.com also: http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2010/03/olivier_zahm.html

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