Gym Class Magazine's Final Issue with Founder, Steven Gregor

Gym Class Magazine's Final Issue with Founder, Steven Gregor
With the publication of Issue #15, Gym Class's print run has come to an end. A magazine about its fellow magazines, Gym Class celebrated the makers and everything pertaining to the process. With its final issue on select newsstands now, SPD spoke with Gym Class founder, Steven Gregor about the end of Gym Class.

Read on for Steven's answers about the farewell issue!

SPD: How do you feel about the end of Gym Class?
Steven Gregor: Gym Class has been a great vehicle for me to geek out and obsess over my favourite magazines. I'm humbled by the calibre of magazine makers that have contributed, such as (off the top of my head): Scott Dadich (WIRED), Chris Dixon (Vanity Fair), Gail Bichler, Jake Silverstein and Kathy Ryan (The New York Times Magazine), Tom Alberty (New York), Wyatt Mitchell (formerly The New Yorker), Leo Jung and Jacqueline Bates (The California Sunday Magazine). The list goes on and on. Oh, and Robert Newman... what a legend! Like I said... the list goes on and on. I'm so thankful. What a thrill! 

I've also learnt a great deal about editing and curation, printing and distribution... eek, I've even learnt a lot about business models. So, it feels like a good time now to take that knowledge and try my hand at a new project... a new magazine with a wider potential readership.

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Above - Four Seasons: A fun article reminiscing over the Four Seasons restaurant (described by Wallpaper magazine as the unofficial Condé Nast canteen). Pete Gamlen illustrated the piece. Murray Somerville provided the spot illustration, showing the fave lunch of Monocole Magazine's Tyler Brûlé.)

SPD: What was your favorite part about working on a magazine about magazines?

SG: It may sound contrived, but celebrating magazines has been the greatest thrill. I love magazines, independent and mainstream. And I want the industry to continue to grow and evolve. I hope Gym Class has inspired people to buy and read magazines... and to make them too.


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Above - Stupid Magazine / Comic: An interview with Holly Knowlman, the founder and editor of Toronto-based pop music magazine, Stupid. The illustration is by Ellen Porteus. Opposite is an ace comic by Sam Ailey featuring some of our fave indie magazines, incuding Lucky Peach, Tom Tom, and Little White Lies.


SPD: What's next for you now that Gym Class is over?

SG: I'm working on a new quarterly magazine about television and movies. It'll launch September 2017 in the UK. Single issues and subscriptions will be available online to American readers. US distribution is on my radar, but I intend to launch small and grow. I want this new title to be great magazine and a sustainable small business. Stay tuned... I'll announce more details via the Gym Class Twitter feed in the new year.

SPD: Now that Gym Class has come to an end can you share some of your all time favorite covers?

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Gym Class 11 --
I love this limited edition split-run cover. It's features former The New Yorker Design Director Wyatt Mitchell as the magazine's mascot Eustace Tilley. It was illustrated by Alexander Wells, one of my fave illustrators.

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Gym Class 12 --
Probably the most famous (and re-tweeted) Gym Class cover. Just 250 copies of this issue were printed... it sold out in the blink of an eye. It was a commentary on all the Kinfolk copycats launching around that time.

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Gym Class 13 --
I think this is my fave Gym Class cover. Anna Wintour is illustrated by UK-based illustrator Lloyd Stratton. The cover story is an in-depth look at the influence of Anna Wintour beyond publishing by David Weiss.

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Gym Class 14 --
This super rare copy of The Face was photographed by Jake Green at The Hyman Archive in London. Then editor of The Face, Johnny Davis (now Deputy Editor at British Esquire), was a contributor to this issue of Gym Class.

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Gym Class 15 --
Ah... the last ever cover. Sentimental fave, perhaps. The cover story looks back at the career so-far of photographer Christopher Anderson. He's a well known contributor to many brilliant magazines. He took the cover portrait of Obama for WIRED while we were putting together this feature. The cover story is by Rebecca McClelland and includes interviews with Kathy Ryan (The New York Times Magazine) and Jody Quon (New York).

SPD: Where can readers pick up the last ever copy of Gym Class?

SG: Only 500 copies of the final Gym Class have been sent to the US. It's available in 100 Barnes & Noble stores, plus a small number of independent newsstands that stock international magazines. There's a list of the Barnes & Noble stores pinned to the Gym Class Twitter profile. I hope people enjoy the issue, I'm super proud of it.


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