For those in the know, you've stalked obediently for the last two years as Shadna Aum and his band of misfit toys tear up the world wide web with cultural commentary and fashionable findings from right here in the Salty City. For those not: UGLY Magazine’s the name, and seeking out the nitty-gritty of SLC’s underbelly for all things crystal couture is the game.
The UGLY operation was begat in April of 2012. Editor in Chief, Shadna, himself bred from art gallery roots, was looking for an avenue through which to keep a finger on the pulse of the burgeoning Salt Lake art scene. His fascination with art led to a fascination with culture, and when Shadna happened upon a fashion walk at a Gallery Stroll, he was straight-up intrigued. He decided to get in cahoots with some local designers. One thing led to another, and he got all enmeshed-like with Kat Federova, Armand Sanchez, and a bevy of other talented, creative, and like-minded locals. And so -- since clever good taste breeds more of the same -- the UGLY brainchild was birthed.
Handle-wise, there were a few choice monikers tossed into the ring, including “801” and “Salt”. Good enough options in and of themselves, but one culture mag in particular inspired the goodly editor: Juxtapoz. And, thought Shadna, what’s more of a juxtaposition than a fashion magazine called UGLY? Ta-da: the new rag had a name. UGLY Mag made her debut into Salt Lake society with downright beaming success at their 2012 launch at The Rose Establishment. The affair was a veritable who’s who of SLC’s hip and with-it, and pretty much everyone knew the UGLY gang had created something worth shakin’ a stick at.
The studio space in which we found UGLY’s cadre was the stark-white and spacious Studio Elevn digs. Think: New York-type hella expensive flat-gone-happy. The spot -- tenanted by collaborative UGLY videographer, Michael Ori -- is a simply-decorated stunner featuring windows that are positively bustin’ with natural light. There's an enchanting crystal chandelier, and a troop of well-dressed and handsome people bustling about, doing assorted things while drinking Heineken [we ain't judgin'...cheers]. Still a relatively small operation, the UGLY crew all don many-a-hat in the respectable name of gettin' shit done: Lead Photographer, Armand, also acts as Lead Art Director, Print Fashion Editor Brittany Barney acts as a stylist, and Shadna himself has hands in all sorts of pots to keep The Good Ship UGLY afloat.
Two years after setting sail, the UGLY Mag crew have found their step. You may have seen them right here on our site just a couple of months ago when we supplied Armand and co. with a stellar space in which to do a shoot [check it here: UGLY Mag | Foxy Collab]. Best news yet: UGLY is ready to bring big things to print. That’s right. This local page-flipper is coming to a coffee table near you in its very first print issue. With SLC’s Revolv bounding onto the scene with great success, covering Utah’s subculture, Shadna got the stand-up idea to focus solely on fashion with the printed version of UGLY. Bottom line, he thinks the world wide web is a solid deal, but there's still a touch of magic to be found in picking up a well-printed publication and turning the pages your god damned self. Especially when it's a local gig heralding local talent. Hear, hear! That said, don't go hastily un-bookmarking UGLY's site on your laptop...the website will still have a spot squared away for culture with their own brand of local smirk.
The issue is [tentatively] due out mid-April, but it's available for pre-order on the website. We strongly advise that route -- your pre-order comes a week before it hits shelves aaand it arrives with a VIP pass for two to the UGLY Mag print party, which we all obviously want to be a part of. You can also visit their site today for an official cover reveal. UGLY has a mission: put Salt Lake fashion on the map with the likes of Milan, Paris, New York. We’ve got the chutzpah for it, and Shadna’s givin’ us a voice. Let’s raise a damn ruckus.