Issue 1 —

The cover of the debut issue of Rollacoaster features Pharrell Williams and sets the tone for the newborn magazine; attractively designed and direct without being too artsy-fartsy, it is aimed equally at male and female readers. James McMahon’s article on the iconic musician-cum-designer with photos by Kenneth Cappello brings it home: Rollacoaster is founded on the tradition of quality writing as much as strong visuals, making it stand out in the current offer of UK magazines.

Offering a rapid-fire diet of fashion, music, lifestyle and the odd bit of opinion, the first issue of Rollacoaster appears to be clawing back the ground lost to a predominantly visual presentation of fashion that has dominated in magazines in the past decade or so. Here, the fashion is presented simply, directly and attractively, but it is balanced with textual content. Rollacoaster offers interesting articles and insights into a broad range of personalities and popsters likely to appeal to its target readership -for example, there are features on everyone from Donna Karan to underground rapper Tinie Tempah- and revives the idea that people might pick up a magazine because of what is written in it as much as for the pretty pictures. An interesting development and certainly one to watch.

    Issue 1 –
    September 2010 100 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Rollacoaster Hot N Soapy Rebel Rebel David Koma James Small Donna Karran Icons of Cool Pierre Hardy Pharrell Robyn Talks A Miu Miu Here... Kevin Carrigan
    Editor In Chief –
    Becky Davies
    Creative Director –
    Way Perry
    Art Director –
    Felix Neill

Our Take —

Rollacoaster is a brand spanking new title from the publishers responsible for Wonderland and Man About Town. Under the editorial guidance of Becky Davies, Rollacoaster has a more fun, lighthearted and immediately British identity compared with its older relatives.

It shares the same international outlook and luxe feel as Wonderland, but, quite rightly, Rollacoaster is doing different things and is aimed at a different readership. That is, if the premiere issue is anything to judge by, a wider audience of teenagers and twenty-somethings who need to balance their appetite for luxury and must-have expensive goodies with more attainable items for a more realistic pocket.

Rollacoaster is strongly grounded in UK culture found in fashion, music and lifestyle spread across pages with a simple, stark and effective art direction that is sometimes reminiscent of UK magazines of the 80’s and early 90’s. There is a welcome sense of traditional English –and traditionally cynical- journalistic writing in Rollacoaster - hurrah for the return of the columnist! Clever without labouring the point; breezy without being brain-dead, Rollacoaster is an interesting arrival on the UK publishing scene. Lessons learned in not patronising one’s audience, from the once sacrosanct institution of the English music magazine, have been reinvented and applied for a generation for whom looking cool also means looking good. Once hanging around a student union bar with greasy hair, a pint of snakebite and big opinions was enough for British youth. Smartly, the Rollacoaster team is speaking to a generation with updated expectations.

Categories –
Culture Design Fashion

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