1980, ‘Your i-D counts more than fashion’

➤ The mantra from the new streetwise manual of style says ‘Originate, don’t imitate’

i-D 1980

80s style starts here: Terry Jones’s covers for the first issues of i-D in 1980

This mantra was declaimed in issue one by Caroline Baker, i-D magazine’s original fashion editor. It was to reverberate through the 1980s… From a stapled fanzine selling a few dozen copies, i-D has evolved into an international glossy averaging sales of 78,000.

The text below was written in collaboration with the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, for the exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum, New York, in Feb 2006 – i-DENTITY: an exhibition celebrating 25 years of i-D magazine. Curated by its founder Terry Jones, the show ran in London Oct-Dec 2005 then travelled the world

i-D 1980

Seminal spread in i-D issue one: the straight-up style is established with one then unknown New Romantic and one punkette. Photographed on the King’s Road by Steve Johnston

◼ TERRY JONES LAUNCHED i-D IN AUGUST 1980 as a style magazine that adopted a radical agenda, reflecting a changing post-punk Britain and grappling with vast unemployment. The first issue featured the opinions of young people and their tastes in music and fashion; it was a meditation on the “ordinary” that continues to underline the ethos of the magazine today.

TERRY JONES ON i-DENTITY “Identity is the individual thumbprint to our DNA. Humanity is at the core of i-D’s editorial ethic – to give space to a range of people with contrasting constructive opinions irrespective of religion, colour, nationality or social background. With ideas travelling through the web of digital communication faster than at any other time in history, i-D will continue to feature the diverse environment we are privileged to live and work in.”

EXHIBITION OVERVIEW In August 1980 a publishing phenomenon was born. Heralding in a new generation of print enterprises, i-D magazine – a worldwide manual of style – was created by Terry Jones, on a mission to explore London’s thrilling street culture, a scene that was being largely ignored by mainstream fashion. Conceived of during his time as art director at British Vogue, i-D would soon set the template for that much-celebrated publishing genre – the style magazine.

i-D magazine was one of the first arenas where the barriers between art and fashion photography were assaulted. In the process, key moments in the explosion of global popular culture were captured on its pages. The magazine has had an incredible impact at the cutting edge of high fashion, art and street culture shaping the way a generation looked at itself and looked at itself looking at its self.

The i-D ethos [aims] “to inspire people to capitalise on their own creative potential,” Jones says. “The core of i-D’s international appeal is how its fashion and ideas communicate beyond language barriers and nationality.”

i-D 1980

Straight-ups from i-D issue one: Cerith, Lee and Wilf, movers among the Blitz Kids

➢➢ View short videos on identity and artwork from the original London exhibition in 2005
➢➢ The Independent’s preview of the London show


The 2006 show hits Hong Kong: early issues of i-D as museum objects

➢➢ Pingmag’s view of the 2006 exhibition in Hong Kong
➢➢ Four covers for the 25th anniversary
➢➢ i-D’s home


➤ 30th anniversary issue
later in 2010

Originally posted January 12, 2010

Lady Gaga, Nick Knight

Lady Gaga photographed © 2009 by Nick Knight

◼ THIS NEW PICTURE OF LADY GAGA by Nick Knight was snapped on the computer (above) and previewed at Showstudio, his showcase website as one of the world’s most original photographers. Knight has been associated with i-D, the manual of style, since his first commission in the summer of 1985. For its fifth birthday that October he photographed 100 “People of the 80s” (selection, below) who had all appeared in the magazine’s formative issues. For the 30th anniversary issue in 2010, he revisits the idea by making 200 new portraits of the most important people in fashion, music and culture today, and this includes Lady Gaga, popstar of the moment.

View video of Nick Knight’s Lady Gaga shoot here
Stills from the shoot at Lady Gaga Please’s photostream on Flickr
View Showstudio’s changing selection of video portraits captured by Nick Knight in December 2009 while shooting the portrait series for the 30th anniversary issue of i-D magazine, published August 2010
Interview in PaperMag with Knight on shooting runways live
View video of Knight’s Fashion Revolution exhibition at Somerset House in 2009, described by Vogue as “truly one of the most ground-breaking shows the industry has ever seen”

i-D,Nick Knight, People of the 80s, John Galliano, Andy Czezowski, Jimmy Fox, Lizzy Tier, Ray Petri, Maria Cornejo,Tony Wilson

i-D’s fifth anniversary, 1985: Nick Knight’s portraits of “People of the 80s” included designer John Galliano, entrepreneur Andy Czezowski & performer Jimmy Fox, singer Lizzy Tier, stylist Ray Petri, designers John Richmond & Maria Cornejo and Manchester’s record mogul Tony Wilson

Nick Knight, People of the 80s, i-D fifth anniversary,

The snapper snapped: Nick Knight caught framing up yours truly during the i-D shoot, June 6, 1985. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

i-D,Nick Knight,People of the 80s,Jane Khan, Michael Clark, John Crancher, Christos Tolera, Helen Robinson, Jalle Bakke

More of Nick Knight’s “People of the 80s”: Brummie fashion designer Jane Khan, dancer Michael Clark, fashion designer John Crancher, singer and interior decorator Christos Tolera, fashion designer and owner of PX Helen Robinson, make-up artist Jalle Bakke



One response to “1980, ‘Your i-D counts more than fashion’

  1. patricia whyte

    use to have a shop in brixton called The Big Apple hat shop looking for back issues of ID magazines during the 80 s . We use to advertise in them.can you help

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