From pinning up the PG rated centrefold to agony aunt columns and pre-clickbait quizzes determining your personality type, teen magazines have previously provided a haven away from the ‘real world’ for young girls growing up. But with teenagers increasingly living their lives online, dwindling circulation numbers have proved the digital generation are no longer satisfied waiting for a weekly release, instead preferring the constant refresh of Instagram, Tumblr and other social platforms.
After working with internet icons such as Charlie Barker, Bip Ling and Hannah Diamond, stylist Louby McLoughlin began to notice the increasing relevance of internet personalities, and the fact that their influence wasn’t being reflected in the media. Teaming up with Kenzo’s ex digital art director DVTK, OKgrl was born as an online space catering for the digital generations decreasing attention spans and disenchantment with traditional notions of celebrity.
“We set out to create a new fashion platform which can match the entertainment levels that the young generation already get from their apps like Instagram, Snapchat or Tumblr. In order to do this we broke conventional rules on the design of an online publication, and instead we use interactivity, music and gamification. It’s basically an online fantasy world. I wish there was something like this when i was younger.”
The result may be high-tech but OKgrl is steeped in nostalgia. Harking back to the good ol’ days of the early noughties, it’s clear that everything from “Toxic” era Britney Spears to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s seminal reality series The Simple Life has inspired the sites content. The post-ironic approach may be lost on their target market, but McLoughlin wants to ensure OKgrl forms the basis of a community.
“People just want to feel a part of something and in this age. It’s no longer about ‘them and us' anymore, we’ve all become one. We hope that the readers will see it as a place they can call their own online.”
As young people move further and further away from living any part of their lives without an internet connection, spaces like OKgrl provide legitimation for the digital generation and their interests. But, in a world in which people are bored after a few clicks, what's next for the platform? “I would love to do an internet party, like Boiler Room but for teen girls and really fabulous. Let's see…”
OKgrl launches 21 January, 2016. Catch a sneak peek of the site, and one of its features ‘Kero Kero Bonit-O’s’, in the video below
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