25 Magazine Launch Party: The Narcissism Issue

Extend arm, tilt head, stare straight into the iPhone camera, and click. The selfie is narcissism at its finest, and 25 Magazine founder and editor Anja Rubik elevated the practice into an artistic ideal during Tuesday night’s Issue 3 release party. The 8th floor of Milk Studios played host to a vibrating den of self love in the social media age with guests including Olivier Theyskens, Milla Jovovich, Prabal Gurung, James Houston and Helena Christensen.

“Ten years ago I wouldn’t have taken a photo of myself, developed it and sent it to my friends,” Rubik told Milk Made as smartphone camera flashes pulsated in rapid succession to her right and left. “Today though, this generation is selfies, selfies, selfies. It’s a generation of narcissists,” said Rubik, pausing to lower her eyes and laugh. “But today, I take them too.”

Inspired by the world around her, Rubik chose narcissism as the theme for the latest issue of her art, culture and what some might call erotica magazine. She reached out to contributors including the likes of photographers Ward Ivan Rafik, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin as well as music industry “up-and-comers” as she calls them, such as Hannah Cohen, Trixie Whitley, and Angel Haze.

“I started to research the concept, I wanted to see how narcissism played in our culture presently and historically,” Rubik explained. “While I found it can be negative, I also found it can be positive. Once you can fully love yourself, it comes to a point where all there is is to fully love others. And visually, it’s interesting.”

Issue 3 comes in a thick, hard silver sleeve with one side imprinted with "25" and the other side smooth and reflective as a mirror, with its spine exposed. Within, Ward Ivan Rafik presents a photo series with Rubik’s face on a group of models both male and female; and Inez and Vinoodh project Inez’s ego and beauty onto a handful of women.

Angel Haze, however, burst off the pages last night and onto a knee-high, mirrored-plated platform just to the side of the bar, where her spitfire lyrics ricocheted off of champagne glasses and cut through the cigarette smoke coating the room. Party-goers rushing to get up close to the performance, if only to use Haze as a backdrop for their next set of selfies. #Selfie #Narcissism #MilkStudios #25Magazine

Photography by Masha Maltsava

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