MEDIA PROFILE: Deborah Bee, editor, Scene - All set to steal the Scene

Deborah Bee is very excited. She’s just been working with David Bailey. Not only that, she’s been working with David Bailey and he’s done the work for the rather low flat rate that she pays all her photographers.

Deborah Bee is very excited. She’s just been working with David

Bailey. Not only that, she’s been working with David Bailey and he’s

done the work for the rather low flat rate that she pays all her

photographers.



They flew over to New York to do the shoot and Bailey’s agent phoned him

while they were out there to say ’Look, David, what’s the angle

here?



Are you sleeping with her?’.



Of course, they aren’t sleeping together. Bee got Bailey to work with

her by sending him a copy of her magazine, Scene. Bailey was on the

phone the next day and they’ve worked together since.



Scene used to be a lifestyle magazine for models only, but crossed over

into the mainstream as a general fashion title. It’s generally seen to

be a strong, but safe magazine and it’s backed by the team that

published the now defunct Don’t Tell It. Bee joined just as the magazine

was switching from a professional title to a consumer title.



’I had to make the magazine cooler and more laid back,’ she

explains.



’We decided to make it bridge the gap between Vogue and The Face or

id.



Vogue is really catwalk and The Face is really street. We look at

fashion in the broadest sense. We also realise that we sit next to

women’s magazines on the shelf and I think that sector is in a terrible

state. There needs to be a magazine that doesn’t go on about how to keep

your boyfriend all the time. Do me a favour. These days if your

boyfriend doesn’t want to stick around, then tell him to leave. We’re

all intelligent enough to realise that, I think.’



Consequently, the title eschews relationship issues and personal

stories, only covering people stories in a social context. Bee is

especially proud of the forthcoming issue which, she says, is the kind

of thing she wants every issue to be. ’We’ve dedicated the next issue to

Andy Warhol, looking at his life and impact on the fashion and art

world,’ she enthuses.



’We’ve got a transvestite shoot, a piece on Quentin Crisp, a series of

interviews with supermodels about what they’re going to do now that

their 15 minutes is almost up and a shoot with Warhol lookalikes.’



The magazine is just embarking on a profile- raising exercise and is

starting to cope with the worldwide interest in the UK as a fashion hot

spot. It’s been pulling in so many ads that the company they used to

employ in Southend just couldn’t cope, so they’ve recruited a new

London-based team to sort out the booming business. They’ve also been

flypostering like it was going out of style and bound in a 16 sampler in

the Evening Standard’s ES Magazine, which produced a bigger circulation

rise than the posters at a fraction of the cost.



Of course, there are other advantages to working in the fashion press

outside the endless parties, catwalk shows and international high

flying.



During the shoot for the above picture, Bee leaned forward and told PR

Week’s photographer: ’Now let’s make one thing clear. If I don’t look

like Linda Evangelista, you’ll never work in this town again.’





HIGHLIGHTS

1988: Deputy fashion editor, Cosmopolitan

1990: Fashion editor, Telegraph Magazine

1994: Fashion editor, New Woman

1997: Editor, Scene



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