Terry and Tricia Jones: The couple who put punk into print by creating i-D magazine

2013’s British Fashion Awards  take place on Monday – and one of  the most coveted and significant gongs of the evening is the Outstanding Achievement Award. This year, the honour is actually being bestowed on Terry and Tricia Jones, who founded i-D magazine. Former i-D editor Dylan Jones salutes their many achievements

If you worked at i-D in the early Eighties, you could be guaranteed one thing: you would never starve.

From its launch in 1980, to the summer of 1985, when the magazine moved to fancy pants Covent Garden, i-D was produced from the top floor of Terry and Tricia Jones’s terraced house in West Hampstead; and, having worked a 12-hour day, Tricia would always invite us downstairs and fill us up as though we had just stepped out of the poor house in Oliver Twist.

We were young, thin, impoverished, and most of us irritatingly obsessed with the notion of cool. Yet Tricia never let us go hungry.

In the space of three months in 1980, style culture was born, principally in the shape of three magazines: The Face, Blitz and i-D. The first two have long since gone to the wall, yet, nearly 35 years later, i-D still survives, although the couple who started it have just sold their baby to Vice, and are due to swan off into the distance in one of the most dignified exits in publishing history.

Terry Jones spent most of the Seventies working for Vogue before becoming so intrigued by punk that he wanted to launch a magazine that catalogued all the idiosyncratic DIY style that the genre threw up. When he eventually did, he invented a new way of looking at the world, reflecting the cultural and sartorial shifts of a decade that was rapidly being defined by its excesses.

i-D immediately became one of the most influential magazines of the decade; few outside the office knew that Terry’s wife, Tricia, was as important to the enterprise as her genius of a husband. Between them, they turned a cottage industry into a giant-slaying cultural behemoth, a magazine that inspired a whole generation of young hipsters.

Terry was a whirlwind of creativity, and a man who found himself incapable of not nurturing talent. People walked in the door and were given a fashion story to lay out; students wandered by and five minutes later would be shooting a cover story. I fell in one day and emerged a year or so later with an editorship. Personally, there is no one I have more respect for, no one to whom I feel a greater debt. And I would imagine a couple of hundred other people in the industry feel the same way, too.

Terry and Tricia were jointly responsible for an entire generation of talent (maybe more), while Terry single-handedly has been responsible for more careers than anyone else I can think of in the industry. Without Terry taking an interest in me, I would probably still be a barman in south-east London. Either that, or a film extra; instead of shooting down Roger Moore’s plane in Octopussy, I’d be pouring drinks for Daniel Craig.

Nick Knight owes his career to Terry Jones, as do Edward Enninful, Judy Blame, Simon Foxton, Robin Derrick, Caryn Franklin, Juergen Teller, Helmut Lang, Craig McDean, David Sims, John Galliano, Kate Moss, and hundreds of other journalists, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. i-D gave Sade her first cover, gave Madonna her first cover, gave most people their first cover.

Terry could spot a trend, a talent or a mood from a greater distance than most, filling his magazine with seemingly unrelated words and pictures that would always come together to create a never-less-than fascinating whole. Quite rightly, he became a celebrity in his own right – not that he cared for, nor craved, the limelight. There was a regular stream of Japanese fashion students who would pour into the office wanting to meet the great man, many of whom would leave baffled when Terry started talking to them in cod-Japanese.

Of course, Terry could be infuriating to work for, because he always appeared to have a completely random attitude to the commissioning process. Yet he actually had a very particular vision and, in i-D’s 33-year history, he’s rarely strayed from it. So, in that sense, i-D is one of the purest fashion magazines there is.

I worked for Terry for four years, and every week was an adventure. It was a baptism of fire in some respects, because I’ve never seen anyone work like Terry did before or since. I got the measure of him one day when I returned  from New York, walking into the West Hampstead office to discover Terry slicing off the bottom four inches of one of my articles.

When I asked what he was doing – my eyes on stalks as if drawn by a demented cartoonist – he shrugged his shoulders and said: “Well, it wouldn’t fit.”

Dylan Jones is the editor-in-chief of GQ.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'