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MC1R – The World’s First Magazine for and About Redheads

Over the years, redheads have borne the brunt of many jokes, enjoying very little appreciation in the fashion world. Changing all that is MC1R – the first and only magazine dedicated to gingers.

In scientific lingo, MC1R is a protein that regulates skin and hair color in mammals. A mutated MC1R protein is believed to cause red hair. So it happens to be a befitting title for the magazine, which exclusively caters to people with red hair. It features content on a wide range of topics, including contemporary art and fashion editorials, interviews with musicians and designers, and current events. Every story is related to red hair.

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“It started as a photography project with a small group of friends who all have red hair, too,” said MC1R editor Tristan Rodgers, speaking to i-D fashion magazine. “After a while, the project expanded and more redheads joined, so I collected their stories while shooting photographs.” When he had enough material, Rodgers looked into how much it would cost to print a few private copies of his collected work.

When he realised that printing 500 copies wouldn’t cost him a lot more than printing 20, he turned to crowdfunding to raise money. Lots of people loved the idea, and in no time he had enough pre-orders to print 1600 copies of the first issue – in German – in 2014. The second issue came out in 2015, this time in English.

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Rodgers revealed that he personally contacts the artists he wants to feature, but he also accepts submissions or recommendations of stories found on social media. “I get inspired from the feeling I have as a redhead myself and how it connects me to great quality work,” he said. “Even when submissions aren’t the best, or are too similar to pieces I’ve already run, I always try to send back feedback to the artist.”

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Through the process of going through stories for the magazine, Rodgers says that he’s learned a lot about redhead culture. “At first I had no idea that there was so much of a culture surrounding red hair, but once the first issue came out I became aware of it,” he said. “There are so many people creating art about red hair; writers, photographers, dancers, actors, right down to the people I interview. Everyone is part of this big thing!”

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“People really connect at redhead festivals; they share what they’ve made or their experiences – it’s big, positive hype right now,” he added. “Some people argue that focusing on the hair itself is a paradoxical method, but if people are identified by the way they look, making work about it allows artists to represent themselves and create a positive feeling for everyone. Someone else in a different part of the world might have problems with his appearance, so creating something positive could help him find strength.”

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Rodgers does hope to increase readership in the future, and he wants the magazine to be profitable. But also wants to keep up the quality of the magazine and make it even better. “There are so many established and emerging artists around the world, and that’s why I created this magazine: I’d love to show all of their work and give them the space they need.”

Sources: Desktopmag, i-D

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