Just after midnight on 9 January 1988, I was boarding flight KL
0898 from Hong Kong to Amsterdam. Behind me I could hear a flurry of voices
calling out, ‘You’re mad! You’ll never make it! But goodbye and… good luck!’ I
had been attending an advertising conference in Guangzhou, China, with fellow
speakers from established European newspapers and magazines, and I had cheerily
told them that, having worked for others for 14 years in textile publishing, I wanted to be my
own boss and that I was launching Textile View magazine. Not only that, I
wanted to revolutionise everything that had been done or seen before in B2B
publications. I wanted to create something that people would regard as the
bible of textiles; I wanted to create a magazine that not only informed but
also broke new ground in graphics.
Of course, I was completely mad. This was not the time of indies
but of structured publishing houses, which had large editorial offices and even larger sales teams. I
wanted none of this. I was going to follow the lead of fashion, which was busy
outsourcing production and revolutionizing the traditional 18-month pipeline of
fabric to the high street.
Instead of journalists who knew how to write ‘correctly’, I was
going to form a club of industry professionals who might forget their commas,
but knew their business. Like the garment industry, I wanted to produce the
magazines in Hong Kong and airlift them back to Europe on Flying Tigers.
And so we did. And so it worked. We grew and grew, not just in
circulation (we soon had to move printers to Germany) but also in products –
Viewpoint (now Viewpoint Design), PantoneView Colour Planner, View2, Viewpoint
Colour. We like to think that we became more than a magazine to our readers –
that we are also a friend and a consultant.
That we will soon be celebrating 30 years in publishing is due to
the generosity, vision and contribution of the many people I have met in my
life in textiles. And there have been many!