Alexander Liang, the founder and Editor In Chief of Kenton Mag, is an entrepreneurial powder keg who's created a cult following for his tome to fashion. I sat down with the budding media mogul to chat about the future of the publication, his personal style blog, and of course, what's on his holiday wish list. Kenton Mag has become a favorite read lately and I've become totally obsessed, but not in a creepy way (at least I hope not), of it's founder, Alexander Liang, a fellow Parsonite, who founded the digital pub after graduating in 2008. Attempting to fill a void in the industry by mixing industry news with creating striking original editorials that bridge the gap between the overly commercial and the avante garde, Kenton has quickly grown to become a daily must read for some of fashion's most discerning characters. Liang gives me the rundown on what life's like when you're an editor on the rise.
FashionIndie: You started Kenton to fill a void you saw in the industry, and now that you've done that, what is your vision for the future of the publication? Alexander Liang: Thank you for the kind words! We have definitely passed many milestones, but I see it as a constant work in process. Moving into the future, I would like to see KENTON continue to grow our global content, but also focus on local content in more and more cities.
FI: You've grown so much in the past two years, where do you see the magazine going in the next five? AL: The past two years have been quite a whirlwind, since starting KENTON. It's hard to say where I'll be in another five years, but I definitely see myself involved in the fashion industry beyond just running the magazine.
FI: I also attended Parsons, what did you learn in school that helped you get to where you are now?
AL: Parsons taught me many of the technical skills I use on a daily basis, as well as design processes and how to effectively manage creative teams. I graduated from the Design & Management program, which I would highly recommend. While I learned a lot about design, I also took business and finance classes and had mentors in entrepreneurship. My professors at Parsons were experts in their fields and shared a wealth of insight.
FI: How do you typically collaborate with brands? Who have you recently worked with? AL: We've collaborated with many brands, in a variety of different ways. With each collaboration, we try to tailor projects to be unique to the brand and KENTON. The best collaborations are built off of real relationships and endorsement. Our readers are smart and I'm confident that they know when something is genuine or not.
FI: You recently started a personal style blog, what was your motivation behind the launch? And why do did you choose to keep it separate from Kenton? AL: I have always added a personal touch to KENTON and serve as the face of the magazine. These days, I think it's important to connect with readers and I wanted another outlet that would allow me to share more of who I am and what I'm about, to those interested. I think personal style blogging lives and develops in a realm of its own, so I wanted to keep it separate from KENTON, which is already following a certain "voice". My blog is also a way for me to support the brands that I personally wear and work with. And if anything, it forces me to keep my style fresh each day!
FI: We're loving your hair, where do you get it done and what products do you use? AL: Another work in progress, ha! I get it cut by Manny and colored by Sam at Fiorio in Toronto. When I'm in Vancouver, I see Paul at Headroom. For maintenance, I use L'Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo and Redken Blonde Glam Perfect Platinum Conditioner. To style, Rusk Wired Flexible Styling Crème and John Frieda Luxurious Volume Extra Hold Hairspray. There you have it, all my secrets are out!
FI: I'm always looking for new places, give me some spots you just can't live without? AL: In New York, I love eating at Bouchon Bakery - probably too much! I also love hanging out in the Meatpacking District and walking around Central Park. In my hometown of Vancouver, I love eating at Guu Garden and hanging out anywhere seaside!
FI: What is on your holiday wish list? AL: I've always wanted an Alexander McQueen scarf, but always pass it up when I shop, in favor of other luxury/fashion pieces. It's happened so many times that it has become a running joke amongst my friends and colleagues. There are quite a few beautiful colors out this season, so I'd say that would be on my wish list this year. Oh and I kind of want an iPad too, regular size, not mini.