INFRINGE is the creation of Anthony and Pat Mascolo, the renowned award-winning hairdresser and creative director of the TIGI haircare brand and his partner. It’s big and bold, billing itself as an ‘anthropology of hair’; its first issue weighed 2.5kg. Nathan Dytor, its design director, pulls its strands together for Magnified.
What is your background in design and how did your involvement with INFRINGE happen?
TIGI was my first client when I began working for myself. Before that, I had only worked in small independent design studios. I quickly became close with Anthony and ended up working with him and his team on all his TIGI campaigns from 2010 to 2015. As Anthony began forming INFRINGE as an idea, he curated a small team of people that shared his vision for what it could be.
It started as an online magazine, before the first print edition in 2017. Was this always the intention or a happy by-product of so much great material?
We started as (and are predominantly) an online platform, putting out several stories weekly. It was definitely always Anthony’s intention for it to be a printed magazine of some description, the team just needed to figure out exactly what form this would take, from the design to the tone of voice. We knew there was a huge amount of potential in what we were doing, but we also knew it had to be done right. Anthony never put any pressure on us to get the first issue out for a certain date. He was keen to release it when he was happy with it; no sooner. We spent much of our first year carefully curating stories specifically for the website, so all our great material was really the happy by-product of lots of hard work that eventually filtered its way in to the print. We released issue #1 as an annual publication, becoming a bi-annual thereafter.
Size matters in the print version – was it a conscious decision to make it such a ‘big’ publication?
Anthony knew he wanted it to be a big coffee table magazine. We were lucky that we had worked up enough content for this to work. Issue #1 was 500 pages and weighed over 2.5kg. This posed certain problems with distribution and postage costs so for issue #2 we reduced the page count to 296 which has made the distribution much more reasonable.
Anthony’s connections in the industry are legendary. Is this the primary means of connecting with collaborators?
Whilst Anthony & Pat certainly have a wealth of invaluable contacts in the hair world which we have called upon, we have also made many new ones. Fortunately, we are now in the position where people regularly contact us to collaborate. We love working with new people and see the value in going out of our way to make and nurture new connections rather than only relying on existing ones. This keeps things fresh and exciting for all involved. We have met some amazing people over the last few years and we hope to continue to do so.
Do you feel hair deserves more attention as an art medium than it currently receives?
I don’t think it is so much about hair as the medium deserving attention, but more the different creatives constantly blurring boundaries and doing some super creative things within the hair world – using hair as the thread, or the basis of a concept. Hair as the medium shouldn’t be thought of so literally. I think people’s general perception is that using hair alone as a medium is limiting. We came up against this ourselves when creating a magazine centred around one subject as specific as hair. When will the stories run out? When will we not be able to find interesting people to collaborate with? But really the opposite is true. As soon as you start reaching the edges of where you thought the subject could take you, and you push it, just a little further – that is when the really creative things start to happen.
There’s a distinct leaning towards playfulness and out-there interpretations of hair in some of your spreads, such as Broadway Leftovers and Tuft in your current edition. What does the commissioning process entail?
Our commissioning process is pretty straightforward. We contact a photographer or hairdresser that we want to work with and ask them to come up with an idea for a shoot. The only parameters are that hair must be at the forefront of the concept. We then often work closely with them to refine it from there. We also regularly get submissions of either ideas or already completed shoots, the best of which we feature online and they sometimes even make it in to the print.
The hair industry is full of talented people constantly doing shoots for the love of experimentation. We are always happy to give the best ones a home.
Your current issue has a focus on Tokyo. Are there notable trends in differing cities or does the age of Instagram make them more accessible to everyone?
We visited Tokyo as a team last year and it was a fascinating trip. Tokyo is unique and the extreme ends of their styling are standalone – you can’t legitimately recreate it outside of their bubble. As the question suggests, I think that most other magazines would have gone there with a trend-led focus. But we went there to explore the hair culture in a deeper way. We visited and documented the dressing ritual of an apprentice Geiko, including the creation of a traditional ‘Wareshinobu’ hairstyle. We also visited a tiny workshop renowned for creating bespoke hairdressing scissors, a process so intricate they make only two pairs a day. We believe stories like these are so much more important to document and bring to our audience than a commentary on a city’s trends.
Issue #2 is out now. £15 + postage.
Words: Michael McDermott