The effortlessly cool trio reflect on curation, team-building, and 40 years of 'i-D' in Document's Fall/Winter 2019 issue.
“I blame you, Sarah, for making this place so popular,” Terry Jones says as he, his wife, Tricia Jones, and Sarah Andelman settle in at Phoenicia Diner in the Catskills town of Phoenicia. “I mean, nobody was here before.” Thus is the magic of Andelman, who with her mother, Colette Roussaux, founded the Paris boutique Colette, the 8,000-square-foot concept store—Karl Lagerfeld’s favorite—beloved for its curated, effortless blend of luxury fashion, streetwear, tech, music, and art. The delight of discovery was at Colette’s core, and as creative director and purchasing manager, Andelman made discoveries that delighted patrons from around the world who could be found lingering around the door waiting for it to open. Thanks to Andelman’s scouting abilities, Colette was one of the first stores to stock Proenza Schouler and Rodarte; and, whimsically, a water bar serving almost 100 types of water from around the globe occupied the basement floor. So, little wonder that Terry Jones attributes the diner’s popularity to Sarah Andelman’s well-honed talent for trendspotting.
Terry and Tricia Jones, who founded the iconic i-D magazine in 1980, know a thing or two about documenting (and inspiring) trends themselves. Originally a staple-spined fanzine, hand-assembled in the couple’s West Hampstead, London, apartment, i-D focused on the punk scene just outside their window and pioneered our current era of street-style obsession. With i-D, Terry and Tricia not only showcased youth culture but also provided a platform to a budding generation of photographers, writers, and artists that offered exposure and fostered experimentation. Among the creative minds nourished in Terry and Tricia’s figurative— and literal—kitchen were Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Edward Enninful, and Caryn Franklin.
Andelman crossed paths with Terry and Tricia years ago. “Of course, the images in the magazine inspired me, but then, his humanity and his sense of family even inspired me further,” Andelman recalled. “Then I met Tricia too; so warm, so far from the fashion circus, just a mama with real values.”
Sarah Andelman and Terry and Tricia Jones have now joined the legions of urban expats quietly finding paradise in upstate New York. Though Colette closed in 2017—to the collective heartbreak of the fashion world—and Terry and Tricia have long since stepped away from active roles at i-D, their influence still permeates. Andelman’s fresh eye for the unexpected is evident in her partnerships through her consulting agency, Just an Idea, and i-D continues to thrive. In the hopes of learning the ever-elusive secret to tastemaking, Document took the opportunity to join them for a meal at the (apparently) recently ordained diner.
Nick Vogelson: How has the meaning of ‘cultural tastemaker’ changed over the last few decades? And what is the alchemy that makes a person a tastemaker?
Tricia Jones: None of us started doing what we’re doing with any idea of influencing other people. We did what we enjoyed doing and the things that were important to us. If people came along and said there was some sort of an influence, then that came afterwards. Now it’s a whole industry. People want to become influencers, and that’s where I think it’s very different.
Sarah Andelman: What is important for me is to connect to people. I don’t know what it is—a ‘tastemaker.’ We don’t try to force anything; it’s just natural to follow our path, to do what we love to do.
Terry Jones: We were really fortunate because we grew up at a time when [the idea of being an influencer] didn’t exist.
Tricia: You have to remember we’re a different age from Sarah. She’s the same age as my kid.
Terry: We knew Sarah when she was a teenager; she grew up in our kitchen. Growing up in a good kitchen, in a good environment, you learn on the job. And you learn by doing every part of the job. We always said when we did i-D magazine that it was about keeping your eyes open.
“Life happens organically. I think you have to be open to the doors that might open which you haven’t expected at all.”—Tricia Jones
Tricia: Terry always said, ‘I’d like to infiltrate the mainstream.’ He made a joke about it, and obviously people who worked with Terry at the beginning have gone on and, indeed, are part of the mainstream. So that is absolutely true, he has done that, but that was at the back of his brain.
Terry: Except Trish was always the stylish one. Trish understood style better than I did.
Tricia: But what I’m saying is none of us set out to do that sort of thing. We felt comfortable enough in our own skins that we—you know, I wore trainers. I used to go to Fashion Week wearing Converse and people would be like, ‘What, you’re not wearing Manolos?’ Sarah has her own style. We weren’t trying to be other people, and I think now people are setting out to be influencers.
Sarah: And it won’t last. You can tell the difference between someone who is really sincere in what they’re doing and someone trying to fake something. Even if it’s working for someone in this new world where everything goes so fast, I think you can tell the difference between people who really have something to say.
Nick: If you were 20 today, how would you approach things? Or, what advice would you give to someone who looks up to you?
Sarah: I’ve been interested in so many things. If I were 20 today, maybe I would specialize a little more; maybe I would decide I want to be a hundred percent in this field, instead of what I’ve been doing forever: a little fashion, design, food. It’s where I’m at now, and I’m happy with it, but 20 years old today, I think you have to be good at what you are doing. I’ve been extremely lucky being good in many things.
Terry: The advice I would give to any 20-year-old is to learn as much as you can on the job. Do not expect to be the boss. Put in hard work, learn every skill you can, from how to answer the phone to proofreading. Whether it’s text in the wrong place or making sure that you report on something you can really believe in ethically—that you can stand by in 20 years—so that you’re doing something that you’re not going to be embarrassed about. But learn on the job from the best people you can learn from.
Tricia: I would say that we shouldn’t be afraid of failing. If you fail at something, you’ve at least tried it. None of us, I think truthfully, had a big game plan. I certainly didn’t. I think a lot of people nowadays [think], If I haven’t done this by that age, if I haven’t done that by this age… I mean, they’re setting themselves these crazy targets, when actually, life happens organically. I think you have to be open to the doors that might open which you haven’t expected at all. If you’re scared, and go, Oh, no, I can’t do that, then you set yourself up for failure because you’re worried about it, and I just think, Give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, you can say, ‘I tried.’
Terry: Find a good partner.
Nick: I think so much of being creative today for the youngest generation is about being seen. There is no privacy. Do you feel the value in privacy is being able to find yourself?
Tricia: I have a feeling that people will look back and think, I wish we hadn’t. People have to be very careful about the amount they commit to the public. It’s not about making your life look airbrushed and perfect—that’s fucking nonsense. I’m scared that people are seeing these airbrushed versions of other people’s lives thinking they’re perfect.
Sarah: You have to keep your secret garden. I think young generations should be careful because sometimes they really show too much. Apparently it works because we can all think of influencers who show everything, and they are so popular, so maybe it’s a different world, and I respect it, but personally I think it’s important to keep things that you don’t need to show. To keep moments for your family, your friends, for yourself, which I don’t need to share with everybody through Instagram. I think it’s super important to appreciate the moment.
Nick: What’s inspiring you now?
Sarah: I like the chance to share. It’s the same when you go to a baseball game or a fashion show. Lots of different people together to share a moment. It can be a new restaurant in L.A., a new pair of socks…. For me, there are so many things that inspire me every day—nice photography, a show in a museum—but I am very open to appreciating anything I don’t yet know, and there’s so much to discover.
Tricia: My inspiration has, for years, been nature. The open space, big skies. I feel claustrophobic now in the city. I can do it for a couple of days, but to be in a hotel and look out and see just streets, I feel claustrophobic. Because here, you really feel the seasons. It changes every day.
Sarah: I agree, for me too!
Terry: I had the privilege of growing up in the countryside. Before we were married, Tricia and I would hitchhike— because I didn’t drive—out of the city. There was one time we went to a place not far from where we’re living now and went to the top of the hill, and Trish was amazed that you could look down and there were virtually no houses.
“I don’t know what it is—a ‘tastemaker.’ We don’t try to force anything; it’s just natural to follow our path, to do what we love to do.”—Sarah Andelman
Tricia: We were on the top of the hill, and there were no villages. I was like, ‘What?!’
Terry: I always liked the mess of the city, but I always appreciated getting away from it. In the ’60s, working in London, you could sense the energy—the music scene was fantastic, clubbing…. You could catch that energy.
I think that feeding your brain is a constant thing. As you get older, you learn to use your brain as a filter. Well, naturally, I’m a sponge. It’s not just about what you see; it’s about what you smell, what you hear. When we did i-D, I wanted to encompass all five senses. You can’t do that on a laptop.
Sarah: Being a Parisian loving New York, to discover that two hours from New York you have all this nature—I appreciate it every day. But in New York, there is always something happening. It’s a completely different absorption, but both fit me. I think that’s how we need to feed our brain. I like the balance of the two.
Nick: How does collaboration manifest itself in your work, and how has that evolved?
Sarah: I wish I could say collaboration is my middle name!
For Colette, connecting people together, either for a product, a window, or just an event, was my natural way of thinking. I love to bring people together [who think] the same way, or just right the opposite! That’s something I continue to do with my new company Just an Idea. But it has to make sense; we need to have a real story behind [it]. I consider the result being always surprising and positive for each partner.
Terry: Within a year of being an art student, I realized there were people who could always do something better than I could, so I thought, Okay, I’m going to get the best people I can, who may not recognize their skills, and try to get them involved. Obviously Tricia’s the best collaborator and life partner because you don’t always have to have someone who agrees with you. Having people who make you reevaluate.
Tricia: Mine have usually come about with people who are friends. It doesn’t really matter how famous or how creative or how brilliant they are, or how much money they’ve got to chuck around. If I don’t like them, I can’t work with them. It’s to do with trust and friendship.
Terry: The other thing that was really important when we made i-D was that it wasn’t a singular vision. It was my idea that you would show a range of visions or range of ideas to open up the debate. [In the] early issues, because it was photographed during the day, you’d end up with people who weren’t working, and frequently it was people who were skinheads or whatever, and their viewpoints were so right wing. We decided to edit them out; we decided to not give them the space. The whole idea was finding contributors who were interested in people, not just themselves. That’s how we started working with Wolfgang [Tillmans].
Tricia: Diversity has been really important to us since the beginning, whether it’s race or sexuality. It was giving voice to everybody, provided it wasn’t a violent or aggressive point of view.
Terry: Edward Enninful came on board as a model and did the shoot with Nick [Knight]. We needed a fashion assistant to come in with [fashion editor] Beth Summers. He came on board, Beth got poached by Loaded, we needed a new editor, and the rest is history.
Tricia: Youngest fashion editor ever [at 18].
Tricia: It was easier because you didn’t have so many press people involved. I think the whole managing of people has become so much tighter.
Nick: Would you say you were trying to fill a void in the culture with Colette and i-D, or did it happen organically?
Sarah: Everything was so organic! First the location. It all started because we moved into this building and the space was empty. Then we just wanted to bring together everything we like, from fashion, beauty, art, and design to music and streetwear, a water bar, etcetera. Then we just renewed everything every week, and that was just fun! And lots of work, too.
Tricia: Everything that happened at i-D happened organically. There was an ethos, a culture about how we wanted to see the world, but things were not super planned. They were a reflection of how people were feeling at the time.
Terry: We were doing this crossover between music and fashion when we started, and it grew from there. But I think over the stages of having different editors who would come on board, they would follow their passions. That’s all I tried to encourage them to do—to keep their eyes open.
This article originally appeared in Document’s Fall/Winter 2019 issue.