If fashion imitates art, and art imitates life, then fashion journalism imitates both.
PaperCity magazine covers fashion, interiors, the arts, culture, and society in a uniquely beautiful way. I sat down with the magazine’s Dallas publisher, Briana Buxbaum, and discussed what it’s like working at a magazine with a genuine style as unique as Texas.
Could you explain to our readers what your role is at PaperCity?
Magazines are created with several departments: editorial, creative and art, production, and the publishing/sales department. In my role, I oversee the business side of the Dallas magazine. All are equally important as we couldn’t exist without the other vital components. While there is certainly a sense of “church and state” between editorial and sales, there’s also a very symbiotic relationship between the two and each month we work to produce one cohesive unit.
What is your favorite part about working for PaperCity?
The problem solving of it and being a consultant to our clients. Our partners want to leverage our brand and we are able to serve their needs. We have so many platforms that allow for us to create robust packages and the partners that come to us. Being able to consult and help someone follow through with a vision is so rewarding. I really enjoy both the creative and business side of our magazine. Our main pillars are fashion, art, home design and social and as a result, we’re involved in so many creative and inspiring projects. But, I also enjoy being able to employ the logical and analytical part of my brain as we problem solve different scenarios. We’re often tasked to creatively meet client’s objectives, and I love the challenge of working to meet their needs in the best way possible using our different platforms.
Can you tell me how you got to where you are today?
I have been with PaperCity for almost 5 years. I started in the Houston office as an Account Executive and then two years ago I moved to Dallas to take this position.
I attended Arizona State University where I studied print and broadcast journalism. After graduating, I worked at a TV station in Phoenix as an Associate Producer. After a year in a TV newsroom, I switched to corporate event planning and did that for four years in Scottsdale where my main client was the Four Seasons Resort. I then moved to Houston and while job searching, I knew that I wanted to return to the media world. I reached out to Monica Bickers, who is now the Group Publisher for PaperCity, for an informational interview and that eventually turned into a sales position. I moved my way up in the company, eventually moving to Dallas to take this role. This position allows me to draw and build from all of my past work experiences which is very fulfilling.
Tell me a little bit about the magazine itself. How did it start, how has it evolved into what it is today?
Holly Moore and a business partner owned a PR company, but they didn’t have a wonderful local luxury outlet to feature their clients so they created The Paper. It was in a broadsheet format for years, and it was unique in the fact that it was a luxury publication in this format. Spreads could be removed and opened to almost poster size. In September of 2016, we launched the perfect bound format, which is our current design.
How has PaperCity been able to stay relevant and successful given the current fast paced digital world that fashion is becoming?
Papercity is in its 23rd year and we have longevity and long standing roots in both cities. We understand the strength of each city and the importance of highlighting all of the unique people, events and places that make Houston and Dallas so dynamic.
I think that people still love to hold a beautiful magazine in their hands and see products in an artful way. When we launched our new format we paid very special attention to making sure our readers have an elevated print experience. We also have many different outlets including digital, which our brands and partners expect. We may have a reader that opens our editorial newsletter weekly, sees web articles on their Facebook feed, or remains a cover to cover print reader.
We also redesigned our website, so that it’s very much PC in brand, but isn’t a replication of the magazine and has a great amount of unique web content. You have to support print with strong digital content. But the print also enriches the digital and overall brand.
From a publishing standpoint, how would you define the Texas readerr?
The Texas reader is so unique. Houston and Dallas have some small town qualities, but are also large cities with luxury consumers. PaperCity does a wonderful job of speaking to this Texas reader with the right mix of local, while also keeping an eye on our place in a larger landscape. I’m not from Texas, and I’ve always found this dynamic fascinating. The social and philanthropic events are so important to these cities and you have to speak to all of that in an elevated and chic way.
You spoke on the philanthropic events and social gatherings that PaperCity is involved with. Could you expand on those? Who are some of the charities you partner with and to what extent are you involved with them?
Yes, charity sponsorships are an important part of the DNA of PaperCity magazine. We’re able to use our platforms to provide exposure for worthy events, so that their causes are shared with our 270,000 readers. There are so many notable charities and events but a few that come to mind are MTV RE:DEFINE, which benefits HIV and AIDS prevention and education through the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s events, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Soluna Festival with Dallas Symphony… the list goes on and on with so many great partners.
Do you have any advice for our readers who are aspiring to be successful in journalism, or any part of the fashion industry?
There are a great variety of jobs in these industries. I’d suggest interning as much as possible in different capacities to gauge your interests. I’d also suggest simply asking for a few minutes of time from someone who has a job you think you may be interested in. Buy them a cup of coffee and ask as many thoughtful questions as you can about the ins and outs of their day; the challenges and the highlights; the growth potential. Some of the greatest connections I’ve made, that eventually led to jobs, have been from asking for an informational interview.
What do you think is the most influential thing in fashion today?
I think that there is such a speed to everything. There is such a drastic speed to everything in our world; that is the greatest influence. How do we stay true to the core of these brands? Women now love to mix both high and low. I think that is such a refreshing change of things.
PaperCity magazine boasts refined taste, style, and a long standing tradition of excellence. After speaking to Briana, I can see how the publication has become so incredibly successful for the past 23 years. I encourage anyone with an interest in fashion journalism, or the fashion industry in general to pick up a copy of Papercity. The beautiful images, compelling articles, and unique attitude of the magazine will be sure to impress anyone looking for inspiration or a good read.
Words by Miles Cantrell
Edited by Reilly Farris, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson
Images courtesy of PaperCity Magazine Covers
Visit Papercitymag.com and follow on Instagram @papermagazine