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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

    £19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

    Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor