"Parla" is Taylor-made for Antigua
Walk into any bookshop or retail store, check out the magazine racks and it becomes painfully obvious that Caribbean “glossies” are glaringly absent. A few of us, okay, a lot of us are obsessed with the North American and British offerings like People, Hello and OK!, which most definitely have their fans. But wouldn’t it be nice to read up on Caribbean and even Antiguan stories, see photographs of real people, places and things - right here? Kate Taylor, publisher of new lifestyle magazine Parla certainly thinks so.
You may have already glimpsed the very first issue over the last few months, perhaps even picked it up and thumbed through its colourful and informative pages, hopefully telling a friend or two. And that’s the point. Parla, which is Italian for “speak”, wants everyone to buzz about Antigua - its fashion, culture, arts and people - through its Winter, Spring and Summer issues. Finally, a magazine that fills a much-needed niche, promising to showcase the side of Antigua that makes you want to holla.
An upscale coffee shop just outside of St. John’s is the perfect place to chat with Parla magazine publisher Kate Taylor. Taylor is London-born and Antigua-based, with a background in the music industry. The initial format for Parla was celebrity/paparrazzi-style, which morphed into a fashion/lifestyle creation for both men and women. In fact, there was a conscious decision not to be a strictly “girly” magazine, which led to the decision to place a male model on the inaugural cover - Trevor Nelson from Back II Life, currently appearing in Antigua during Sailing Week.
One of the most fabulous things about Parla, is that the clothes, the shoes, the accessories, everything is available here, on the island. No need to calculate the duty, taxes, and stress involved in shipping in that latest handbag or shades, just take a stroll around local shops. Also, in a bit of a coup, Parla has landed Havaianas sandals and is the exclusive distributor of this classically-styled footwear.
While at the helm of the JHR Property Guide, Taylor honed valuable skills which helped construct Parla. Having a background in publishing was helpful, but the challenges remained. According to her, “The first edition was hard, because it was brand new. To come up with interesting articles took quite a lot of time.” The magazine took four months from conception to inception, and unfortunately another 30 days passed before the shipment arrived from the overseas printer. “The first issue was delayed a month because of the major snowstorms in the UK in January that literally stopped the boat from leaving the harbour”, Taylor said.
The magazine’s website should be fully operational in time for the second edition. Issue #2 will be 100% readable online, just as if the magazine was in your hands. On terra firma, Parla will be distributed around Antigua to high-end hotels, coffee shops, dentist and doctor’s offices, basically anywhere people are relaxing or waiting, and want to read up on some interesting, exciting, never before seen articles and photographs.
So what’s in store for issue #2? Based on the positive response to the premier issue, plans are afoot to increase the number of pages from 80 to a whopping 128. “There’s going to be a lot more celebrity fashion photos, 'who’s hot, what’s not', a lot more fashion pages, where you can buy the clothes, and a lot more high-end fashion shoots”, said Taylor. We’ll also see more editorial profiles on businessmen and women, like Joya Martin, who the publisher describes as “a fashion-savvy executive who has stepped up”, and other movers and shakers.
Taylor will also include info on health, beauty, and spas, with a feature on the recent 25th Winter Music Conference in Miami. The annual music conference is all about lectures and demonstrations on paper, but end ups more like a week-long party, featuring international DJs and dance music acts from all over the world. We’ll also get the lowdown on Sailing Week and the Back II Life parties happening right now. Look for your free copy of Parla magazine, available all over the island, June 2010.
*** Putting together a magazine may sound exciting but it’s all about hard work, blood, sweat and tears. And in any endeavour, building a strong team is crucial. If you have a background in writing, journalism, modelling, fashion, music, or event promotions, and would like to intern with Parla, contact Kate Taylor at email@example.com or 268.561.5695 and leave a message.