Issue 161 | Editor's Letter
![Alt Text](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/1558648078679-OFTCKYR2YZCL5ZACFNJ7/Flaunt+Magazine+-+Issue+161%2C+Editor%27s+Letter.png) E d i t o r ’ s L e t t e r Twenty years! t-w-e-n-t-y years. 161 magazines. some 30,000 pages. blood, sweat, tears, and parties (a good party is only possible with a perverse combination of the preceding three, it should be said). And in the course? The birth of social media, the birth of the “Influencer,” the birth of newsstand tragedy. It’s not been a gravy train, has it, delivering you, kind readers, this book of indubitable wonder? Remember all that space-time compression talk being kicked around in the ’90s, as the rapid advancements in tech and comms made our distance or spatiality a supposed non-issue? We were supposed to be “closer” and more “connected.” Well, if you consider it, the time-space compression as it relates to magazines over the last twenty years—especially independent, free-thinking magazines like the one in your paws—is something of a Rubik’s cube... suspended in time… then run through a meat grinder. Yes, we’ve adapted our strategies and methodologies year on year to account for the ceaseless changes and disruptions within the industry. Yes, we now examine individuals’ followings within the same conversations as the merit of a creative product like a record or a film. Yes, our accountability to brand partnerships means ten times the deliverables it once did, despite decreasing budgets. Yes, we’re mobile-friendly. But here’s where it gets tricky. Despite humankind’s increasing ability to be “present” and somewhere else altogether, despite the instantaneity, all of this supposed advancement is not necessarily a favorable, or healthy, thing. Anxiety amongst teenagers, who have no memory of a time you didn’t source a dog walker with an app, currently sits at an all-time high. Xanax Nation. What psychologists refer to as “affective forecasting” sees social media users anticipating joy in a twenty-minute session with a leading platform like Facebook, but alternatively feeling the total opposite once those twenty minutes have scrolled by. Data is increasingly complicit with scandal. Violence and the empowerment of autocrats is reportedly being fueled by misinformation and propaganda on social networks. As such, I’d make the claim that magazines, despite what the sales figures or a survey of modern content consumers might suggest, remain the truest vehicle of connection and community within the creative arts. See, hundreds of people helped make this magazine. And while we assert a certain amount of control over our content, these hundreds of different people each contribute a unique point of view or skillset. Then there’s the reverberation the web has now made possible. Images are remixed, recycled, and proliferate. Feeds are fed. As well, reverberation not only resounds from a magazine like Flaunt because of new image sharing platforms, but because of its preoccupation with the next hip thing, the star on the rise. What commences here expands elsewhere. As such: The Next Issue. Not a back-clapping retrospective. Not a “remember how it used to be” effort. Not a wary or uncompassionate take on where things are headed, but a consummate embrace. For Flaunt is only as good as the people with whom we feature, and the folks who help to make it, and (as they love to say in Hollywood) you’re only as good as your last one. So, in addition to a robust survey of stars on the rise—from a young and talented female racecar driver (Toni Breidinger on Page 164); to skateboarding’s highest-paid star, all of 23 years old (Nyjah Huston on Page 196); to activism (Hannah Alper, Page 122) and a wealth of independent cinema—we’ve sprinkled twenty time capsules, in addition to my own capsule, featured on the facing page, postmarked for twenty years from now, via the folks that helped get us here: Demi Moore (page 294), Dita Von Teese (Page 146), and David LaChapelle (Page 82), to name a few. What’s more? Tons of stories are adorned with a 2038 prophecy of sorts. Will Kris Wu (Page 228), or someone like Kris Wu, win the first Olympic Gold Medal for Charm, as the potentially puzzling title suggests? Find out in the footnote. A handful of LA-based architecture firms cooked up some creative interpretations of our fair city 20 years from now (Page 112). We consult 20 crystal balls (Page 80) for what the next two decades hold. We talk about the changes coming to democracy and the human species with The Bergguen Institute (Page 236). We explore post-nuptial agreements, legal marijuana meet-ups, and the bizarre ingredients for online virality (Page 383). Then there’s the celebratory element. A typical twenty-year anniversary spells emeralds, porcelain, and platinum, the likes of which you’ll see in a birthday cake photo still life on Page 156, and in elements included in The Next Issue’s cover art created by up-and-coming artist Sarah Meyohas (Page 170). In the end, we tried our best, and weathered curses, cancellations, fibs, embellishments, rope-a-dopes, and untold amounts of bait-and-switch to get here. Thanks are naturally due to the brands across lifestyle, luxury, automotive, liquor, jewelry, hospitality, technology, and tourism who have trusted us as a venue for their message. Thanks are due to the actors, musicians, artists, models, poets, representatives, managers, agents, and everything in between and around. Thanks are due to the galleries, museums, and institutions we call our peers. Thanks are due to the clubs and hotels. Thanks are due to the publication’s founders—Luis Barajas and Jim Turner—who chose that path less taken. Thanks are due the city of Los Angeles. Thanks are due to you, for flaunting your knowledge, flaunting your friends, and flaunting your talent, in that way that only you know how. Thanks are due. Sincerely, Matthew Bedard