Grand Circus Magazine is a new perspective on Detroit’s design, architecture, art, culture, and urbanism. Editor-in-chief Alex Trajkovski gave PLAYGROUND DETROIT an exclusive interview on his passion for creating a Detroit culture magazine.
According to its IndieGoGo campaign, the reason this publication is so valuable is because such a consequential city has never had such a large void.
“Our mission is to repair the stigmatized name of the city, create a cultural resource for the metro region, and export the finer aspects of Detroit culture from coast to coast. The magazine is a vessel for collaboration and a stimulator for creation.”
“Detroit’s my hometown. The west side of Detroit, near Dearborn and Dearborn-Heights used to be heavily populated with Macedonian, Greek-Yugoslav ethnicities. My family moved to America and came to the westside of Detroit in the late 70’s; the Macedonian presence here was so big that there was a pool hall at Clark and Vernor. This is where my family came to. I mostly grew up in Deaborn-Heights. I’ve lived in other cities- Ann Arbor, then I went to New York and I moved back to Detroit last year because I never really wanted to leave Detroit.
The genesis of the magazine came about when I worked in a hotel in New York. I was really proud to tell people I’m from Detroit. Every time I would tell people I was from here people would say, “Oh man, I’m so sorry,” and I would have to defend it and tell them it’s actually very cool- some people didn’t even know what Motown music is. I’m a graphic designer and I was making magazines, so I just decided to make a magazine about Detroit- a cultural textbook about Detroit to show people what it is actually all about. Most people would reference a New York Times article or bankruptcy in conversation, but beyond that didn’t know much more.
Grand Circus was created because I couldn’t find anything like this that exists. It encompasses general culture, business, real estate, design. A true Detroit lifestyle magazine. We wanted to have a tactile, solid object. We are printing this on the most beautiful paper, it will be a display piece to have and to hold. Digital magazines aren’t as fun to read as a print object. The design is aesthetically minimal, the format is hand-held so you can carry it around with you.”
What have you enjoyed about creating this magazine?
“Reaching out to the community has been the most fun process. The first person I reached out to was Paulina Petkoski, who is a brilliant Detroiter-New Yorker who has been indispensable to the process in reaching out to native contributors and fashion direction as our Style Editor. Eileen Tjan is the most talented designer and working with her has been an extremely humbling experience. Alex Hoxie is an exceptional Detroit photographer that has contributed most of the photos as the Photo Editor. The team I’ve assembled work so well together, it’s a dream team.
The range of people and business owners I’ve met working on the first issue is insane- people all over the city. It’s not just a Midtown production, we’re looking at neighborhoods like Brightmoor and Southwest, all the way down to the Lower East Side.”
What is your biggest hope with the magazine?
“My biggest hope is to change people’s perception about a very misunderstood city that I love- to keep designing and showcasing our really talented community. The magazine will keep creating work for design people, photographers, writers, stylists and connect these people through their work. We are working to distribute it locally and nationally so that those outside of the city can access it. “
Where do you see Detroit in 10 years?
“I see Detroit as totally unrecognizable to what it is today. The city is changing so rapidly in a really good way and there’s just a good energy in the air. People have cool attitudes about what they’re building, and who their neighbors are and are very conscious about the people around them. It’s going to be a bustling center…but I will say this:
Detroit has always been unique because you can’t come here by accident, it attracts a really cool breed of person.”
FOLLOW GRAND CIRCUS
Post-color & Edit Shane Patrick Ford
Styling Paulina Petkoski
Assistant Styling Alyssa Solomon
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