Shopping: Read all about it

As customers get wise to marketing ploys, fashion labels have found a new way to promote their wares: brand publications. Harriet Walker flicks through the new Cos magazine and introduces two of the interviews from its couple-themed first issue

The phrase "brand literature'"may summon to mind a doormat covered in flyers and cheap pamphlets but, in fashion terms, it means something rather more high-end. Increasingly, labels are producing their own publications as a means of translating their vision and inspirations to their customers.

At her catwalk shows, designer Phoebe Philo of Céline leaves a booklet of postcards on the seats for press and buyers to immerse themselves in the world of the collection they are about to see – photographs and drawings, artwork and photography explain the motivations behind her chosen look. And Swedish label Acne publishes a bi-annual magazine full of interviews with people – famous or otherwise – who have piqued the creative team's interest, and shoots which present pieces from the label's current collections.

Upmarket high-street chain Cos launched a similar concept in 2007, the latest issue of which will be available in stores from Friday. The label is known for its ascetic and high-brow take on trends, and its in-house glossy offers similarly recherché features.

In an issue themed around couples who live and work together, there are interviews with the acclaimed photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Terry and Tricia Jones, the publishers behind the style bible i-D. Interspersed within its pages are elegant and slick images – some shot on the roof of Le Corbusier's Unité de Habitation in Berlin – a subtle and deft suggestion of the sort of style which accompanies the sort of fashionable existence that Cos is trying to illustrate.

"We have always envisioned it as a great way to give something back to the customers," explains Atul Pathak, Cos's head of marketing, "and to give a more detailed insight into the brand. This issue explores the marvels of living and working together – we often feature people, places and objects that we find truly inspiring without necessarily having a direct correlation to Cos – we hope to convey our aesthetics through our interest in external environments."

It's a stealth-marketing tactic that began in the Eighties, when Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons first produced leaflets of enigmatic photography and imagery that she felt fitted into the singular aesthetic she was creating, and has now progressed to a point where even mass brands such as Topshop and Asos produce their own versions of magazines. It's far more cool than mere advertising, with far more clout and – crucially – integrity as far as consumers are concerned. Essentially, brand literature is "value added" at a time when we don't feel like much comes for free any more.

Terry & Tricia

The illustrious couple behind London's i-D magazine

Interview: Alex Needham

Portrait: Matt Jones

Terry and Tricia Jones have been married for 44 years. In 1980 Terry founded i-D to document London's booming street style and youth culture. Other magazines have come and gone, but i-D marches on, still influential, still directed by Terry and still featuring a wink on every cover. The magazine has proved a school of talents, from photographers Nick Knight and Wolfgang Tillmans to super stylist Edward Enninful, and practically everyone else working in London fashion today.

Tricia Jones: We met at a college dance when I was 18. Terry was at art college and I was at teacher training college in Bristol.

I was on the rebound, so I went to this Georgie Fame gig with my friend.

Terry: I quit college – I opted out before graduating – and worked in London for a year, and then Trish finished college and came up. I was art director at British Vogue from '72 to '77.

Tricia: He was the youngest art director they'd ever had. They thought he was the janitor.

Terry: Trish's mum was very shocked when I left Vogue. After Vogue, my day job was working for a variety of magazines in Europe and as a creative consultant. i-D was the hobby job.

Tricia: We have a responsibility for what we put in the magazine. We wanted to be as broad a vision as possible: multiracial, multi-ethnic.

Terry: As grandparents, you want to feel that six generations down there's some value system that you've managed to infiltrate. i-D has broadened people's perspectives. It's not unusual to see mixed races on the covers of magazines now, whereas when i-D started it was very unusual.

Tricia: I think the important thing is not to preach or be holier than thou. We're not saving lives here; we're helping creative people. We're maybe opening a few eyes, and hopefully our own, too, along the way.

Inez & Vinoodh

The phenomenal photography duo from New York City

Interview: Penny Martin

Portrait: Inez & Vinoodh

Fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin met at college in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, nearly three decades ago, and still spend every second together. What began as a photographer-stylist arrangement in the mid-1980s soon turned into a photographic partnership that rocked the documentary-obsessed 1990s with their glamorous imagery. And when they married in 1999, Inez & Vinoodh – as they are known – became the industry's most sought-after husband-and-wife team of all time.

Inez van Lamsweerde: We have pretty much the same team of stylists, lighting directors, assistants, hair and make-up people and even models with us wherever we go. But that said, having grown up as an only child, I feel more complete with everyone around us. A big part of loving this life we lead is the feeling of having an extended family.

Vinoodh Matadin: We're like gypsies on the road. And to keep some sanity in all that, we ensure the people are the same wherever we go.

Inez: Our apartment and office are in the same building in New York City, but on different floors. I think people are often quite surprised that we don't live in a white loft.

Vinoodh: There's lots of wood and stone, fur, warm colours. It's like a mix of Swedish sauna, Japanese teahouse and 1970s Dutch interior. But we don't get to spend a lot of time there. We're on set maybe 150 days per year, not counting editing, prep and days in the office. Probably more.

Inez: We're very conscious of our health, yes, since we're still travelling like crazy. We have to think of ourselves as top athletes. We watch our drinking, take massages, practise yoga. And we eat healthily.

Vinoodh: Food's very important. We say, "If the catering's good on set, then the pictures will be good."

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

    C++ Quant Developer

    £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

    Java/Calypso Developer

    £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

    SQL Developer

    £500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

    Day In a Page

    Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    9 best steam generator irons

    9 best steam generator irons

    To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
    England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
    ‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

    ‘We knew he was something special’

    Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York