Fifth annual Audrey’s Night Out last week at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica reveals the new look of a Gardena-based fashion magazine aiming to reach a broader audience.
Audrey Magazine, now in its tenth year, has a readership of 30,000 and caters to mainly Asian American women. But this year, they hope to expand readership to non-Asians, print, online, social media and elsewhere.
Eugene Choi, Director Business Development at Audrey Magazine, said Audrey’s Night Out provided just the opportunity to inaugurate the brand new design.
The beauty and lifestyle publication had changed their logo and revamped their whole look, said Choi. Kanara Ty, associate editor of Audrey, said the magazine "wanted to move in the direction of high fashion mainstream magazines, such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. It's still Audrey, but she basically just grew up a little. Inside, you'll also see a more streamlined and modern look." The old logo was of lower-case letters and light pastel colors, whereas the new logo had thin, black upper-case letters on a white background.
"Audrey is placed behind a bunch of other magazines at bookstores, so we needed our logo and cover to really pop and stand out," said Anna Park, Audrey's Editor-in-Chief. "We felt it was time to get a more sophisticated, grown-up look."
Choi said Audrey’s staff envisioned the relauch for about a year. A staff of only four completed the redesign in just under two and a half months, Ty said.
The magazine witnessed non-Asians increasing interested in Asian American culture, especially with the rise of “Gangnam Style” by South Korean rapper Psy. His music video went viral and is now appearing in talk shows all over the nation. “Now is right time to do it,” Choi said. “Because there is a growing audience interest in Asian American culture, lifestyle, entertainment and music.”
"I think Audrey has become important not just to Asian American women, but as a resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Asian American women and culture," Park said.
Choi said the night had all the elements there. Indeed, Audrey pulled out all the stops to create a wide-reaching fashion show.
Non-Asian designers and models contributed to the efforts for diversity. Designers for the night include: Richard Bowman, Rebecca Grant, Brian Lichtenberg and Julia Clancy. Each of which showcased their individual collections of couture, high fashion, edgy designs. Twelve models of all ethnicities strutted the runway, one at a time, each step with attitude and poise. They paused to pose for flashing cameras. The fashion runway ignited the crowd with thunderous applause.
Two celebrity hosts led the event this year: Jamie Chung, the versatile actress in “The Hangover 2” and “Sucker Punch” along with Justin Chon from “The Twilight Series.” Chung also posed as the cover girl for the inaugural issue.
Carly Rae Jepson was supposed to add an element of diversity, but the “Call Me Maybe” singer’s flight was delayed from her tour in Japan. However, the show went on. R&B recording group Legaci serenaded the audience. DJ Clinton Sparks spinned tunes for the cocktail party to conclude the night.
“I’m a huge fan of diversity … I’m here to be amongst the diverse and to help add to diversity from me being here,” said Sparks, who supports events when people can interact and learn from each other's cultures.
Choi said “this is another opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Asian American community.” There to cheer on the occasion, many celebrity guests appeared on the red carpet.
“We can be fashionable, we can look good, we can be accessible and viable as a commodity in the American mainstream market,” said Jack Yang, an actor who starred in “Cashmere Mafia.”
Comedian and YouTube personality David So said there is a lack of Asian American representation in the media. “I think especially when it comes to media attention, a lot of Asian people, we don’t get the spotlight a lot. Doing these kinds of events is a really positive move for us,” So said.
Thim Chiu, actor in “2 Broke Girls” and “CSI: NY” said “We need to establish ourselves as an artistic and creative force in the U.S. because a lot of times we are just seen for our contributions in the business world … I think celebrating that is a milestone.”
“I think it important … that people learn more about the Asian American experience and culture,” Choi said.
"In this sense, it helps break down dangerous stereotypes of Asian American women and promotes tolerance," Ty said.
It appears Audrey’s Night Out will have more anniversaries to come and with increasing diversity.