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Henrik Zachrisson

Henrik was raised in the northern suburbs of Stockholm and worked as a photo-assistant after high school. Today, at 30, he’s the Art Director at The Last Magazine in New York.

Edited by Robin Douglas Westling
Photography Robert Lindholm

New York, USA

How did you become an Art Director?

—I think some things just happen very organically. I’ve always been interested in communication, and my job as Art Director pretty much comes down to sending notes.

How did you end up in New York?

— One day I applied for a summer internship in New York. I never thought I would get it. Not in a million years. They e-mailed me the day after and asked if I could be there on Monday at 9 in the morning. I panic packed a bag, cancelled all my summer plans, and flew over. I was really broke and had never set my foot in New York before, but I managed to find a room for $200 a month far out on the Q-train in Midwood, Brooklyn, where I lived with six Serbian water polo players. I went back and forth to SoHo and worked my ass off – from early morning until they kicked me out at night. It was at The Last Magazine and after that summer they offered me a job.

What are you working on right now?

— Working in a small team with an independent magazine is really just about working on a hundred different projects at the same time to create a coherent, unique voice for us. We just had our tenth anniversary, released our twentieth issue and launched The Last Universe — a creative studio for a range of different projects we’ve been exploring lately.

What is The Last Universe?

— It’s a publishing house, an editorial driven creative studio with a range of commercial clients but also a design studio and we’ll run pop-ups, exhibitions, and product collaborations. As Art Director for both of the magazines and the studio, my time is split pretty much fifty-fifty. The core idea of what we do is to find, highlight and collaborate with new artistic talents from the art, music, design, dance, photography, fashion, film, literature and food world. From butchers, skiers and lamp-makers to Oscar-winning actors. It always comes down to people.

Can you describe your aesthetics and style?

— Coming from a photo background, rather than an art school, I tend to give the image, film and artwork a central role. I think it’s important just to ask yourself what you want to communicate, and keep doing that. I don’t know if I have a specific style, I like cinematic and handmade things, and to customise for your media.

What do you find interesting about the Scandinavian fashion scene?

— That more brands and designers find their way into an international market. There’s never been a shortage of amazing designers and products, but when a clientele is limited in sheer numbers, it can be hard to expand.

Is there anything you find particularly exciting in fashion right now?

— The democratisation and ongoing shift away from traditional broadcasting to some sort of ’narrowcasting’ — which social media has not only brought to the fashion industry but our whole media landscape — is of course interesting. Sure, it changes the rules for a huge part of the industry but it’s very exciting, you can’t bullshit as much anymore, people aren’t so easily fooled.

What are your goals as Art Director?

— I love where I am and what I’m doing. I’m focusing on that, on getting better and learning more. I always thought it would be fun to teach at some point. And learn how to roller-skate backwards.

Henrik Zachrisson photographed by Robert Lindholm in New York.