After a fruitless and exasperating search for magazines that would entertain, educate, and inspire her own daughters, Jamie Bryant found herself doing something she'd never dreamed of -- launching a new national publication. Kiki Magazine, which debuts next month, is aimed at "girls with style and substance" ages 9-14. Part magazine and part studio, Kiki proves possible the marriage of fashion, design, and creativity with smart, safe, age-appropriate content that will please girls and their parents.
Kiki began when Bryant's daughters, aged 7 and 9, started to express interest in fashion and design, topics not usually covered in magazines aimed at younger readers. Already frustrated by overtly-sexualized clothing and media marketed to an increasingly young audience, Bryant -- a Cincinnati-based editor and educator -- found the same was true of the current crop of magazines for adolescent girls.
"Even publications aimed at younger teens offer up soft-sex articles and overly-mature content that parents and readers are uncomfortable with," Bryant says. "There simply wasn't anything compelling being published for tween girls."
Bolstered by her years of experience in education and textbook development, Bryant took matters into her own hands. "I could sit around and wait for someone else to do something about it, or I could do it myself," she says. "And I work with a lot of creative people who were determined to help me."
The result is Kiki Magazine, a high-quality, full-color quarterly that debuts September 2007 with a two-part editorial mission. First, Bryant explains, Kiki aims to help each reader develop a sense of style that reflects her own personality. It also seeks to help readers gain the confidence that comes from being comfortable in their own skin, whatever their style.
"Kiki is first and foremost a fun fashion magazine and creativity journal for girls," Bryant says. "But at the same time, it's also a publication of real substance and value, something parents and kids can both feel really good about."
Bryant also notes that Kiki Magazine is as unique in what it doesn't feature as in what it does. "We're leaving out what most teen-magazine publishers consider must-have content. There's no gossip, no boyfriends, no sensuality, no instructions on how to kiss, no tips on getting sexy abs," she says. "We don't miss it. Parents don't miss it. And, perhaps most of all, our readers certainly don't miss being bombarded with mature themes they're not ready to tackle."
Instead, according to Bryant, Kiki takes the college fashion curriculum and tailors it to younger readers, using the fashion and design industry to explore a variety of topics, including business, geography, fine art, craft, history, world culture, and even math and science. "The fashion world is the perfect platform for helping girls discover and nurture their own sense of self, style, and creativity, while providing content of solid value," Bryant says. "Kiki is proof that having fun with style and artistry is completely compatible with intelligence and creativity."
Kiki pairs articles about fashion with art and design project pages that turn the magazine into an interactive creativity journal. "These creative pages give each issue of Kiki even greater lasting value," Bryant says. "Girls will want to hang onto each issue and come back to it over and over again."