Sex+Design = a literary orgasm

Veronica Christina and Nico Johanna Roth are launching their San Francisco based Sex+Design magazine on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.  This highly anticipated online magazine is a refreshing change from the typical local fashion, design magazines.  This magazine will contain edgy editorials, fashion-forward photo shoots, and content that will both sizzle and satisfy.  I found out about the magazine through a friend and wanted to know what Sex+Design is about and what will set it apart from all the local magazines.  There are so magazines on the market, many claiming to be edgy.  Why read this one?  Veronica and Nico have been busy planning the release of their new magazine and their launch event at supperclub this Wednesday.  I was able to talk to both of them briefly over the phone and ask them questions about the magazine via email.  I found both of them to be engaging, intelligent and witty.  I was especially impressed that they answered some of the questions I sent to them as a team.  This shows that they are unified, with a clear objective, focus and intent.  The more I read about them and Sex+Design, it became evident that this magazine is covering an aspect of society that no magazine has dared to expose.

Michele:  What is Sex+Design about?  From the name, people will think it’s a sex magazine. 
Veronica:  Haha!  We get that a lot but the title is not quite so literal. The word “Sex” represents the debaucherous, messy, fun and impulsive side of life while “Design” stands for purpose, articulation, sophistication and beauty.  We find ourselves ping ponging back and forth between the two while trying to find balance and wanted a forum to represent the tragedy and comedy of it all.  Our goal is to relate these experiences through witty writing, photography and art. 

Veronica and Nico displaying their edgy playfulness.

Michele:  Why did you decide to start Sex+Design? 
Veronica and Nico:  Sex+Design began as a representation of the life we and our friends were experiencing in San Francisco.  We noticed that there were all these amazingly successful and intelligent people on the party circuit who on any given night would be out dancing until 4 AM or at Mission underground parties that started at noon. These people are accomplished, sophisticated and by all means mainstream, yet they also run in a scene that is the antithesis to all they appear to represent.  We think of it as a very modern way to live and want to provide a platform for local artists, to explore and present this new counter culture in an honest, no-holds-barred way.

Michele:  How long have you been working on the magazine?
Nico:  It’s been a tiny zygote for about two years – I think only whales have a similar gestation period.

Michele:  What are some of the feature columns and how did you decide upon including them?
Veronica and Nico:  We have a New York Times columnist writing about the irony of trying to sleep with as many girls as possible while wanting desperately to fall in love.  We have a local drug dealer speaking frankly about the clients he deals with and the ridiculous situations he finds himself in.  A psychologist has a column exploring monogamy in relationships and why it’s so fucking hard to be faithful.  We have a call girl giving insights into what she’s dealing with.  A writer from Juxtapoz finding new, experimental art.  Numerous design bloggers sharing their finds.  A young “it” boy on the drag scene allows us entrance into a fascinating, lifestyle most of us know nothing about.  All the while, we’ll feature local art, design, music, fashion and generally fabulous people.    We want to portray the awesome and the base.  We just want honesty.
Michele:  I love the article ideas of the magazine.  How did you come up with each of them?
Nico:  I keep my ears open all the time.  If something comes up in conversation with friends and I think it has merit, we’ll explore it.  Sometimes it’s bunk, other times it’s genius.

Michele:  Was it difficult to find writers for the column for such subjects as the local drug dealer’s life, an unfaithful psychologist, a call girl’s insight, etc?  
Veronica:  You’d think so, but actually not at all.  Once people heard about the magazine word of mouth generally brought people to us.  I think the fact that we’ll let them write in anonymity and with complete freedom that attracted their interest.  Everyone wants to tell their story. 

Michele:  How was the experience of writing been for them? I’m sure it must have been liberating for them to be real and honest.   
Veronica:  It’s been easy for some, tough for others.  The stories flow but sometimes the prose doesn’t.  That’s what we’re here for.

Michele:  I appreciate the content of the articles because you will be writing about what is really going on within the city and the debunking the stereotypical myths associated with professions.  I have a friend who was a prostitute and is now a successful lawyer.  She has no qualms in telling people about her past.  I think most publications don’t want to cover these real life situations because they don’t want to be seen as associated with it.  What are your thoughts on that for both you and Nico?
Veronica:  The response we’ve gotten from our willingness to tell these stories has been overwhelming.  I think people are yearning to relate. 

Michele:  What type of reaction do you think you’ll get from people after they read the articles?
Veronica:  I hope we get a laugh above all, but on a serious note, we just want to relate to what urban culture is like today in a pull-no-punches way.

Michele:  Will you be doing fashion spreads?  If so, what type of designers will you be showcasing?
Nico:  We’ve chosen FLAWK as our first feature stars for their unique take on style and their absolute vision for where the field is going, but we’ll be photo shoots celebrating designers of all disciplines.  In fashion, we’ll highlight edgy, think-outside-the-box new designers with something to say.

Michele:  What’s your background? 
Nico:  I’ve lived in the city for 10 years and throughout my career I’ve had the fortune to meet heavy hitters in all of the creative fields and always wanted to provide a platform for the amazing souls I’ve met.
Veronica:  I’ve been a writer since I was a little girl and have worked professionally as a writer and editor for the past 10 years in the online/publishing industries.  I’m very familiar with the internet space and what sells.  I also studied design at California College of the Arts and have owned a successful blog ( for several years, so I am very dialed into the design scene as well.  
Veronica Christina and Nico Johanna Roth covering the bare truth of the counter culture of urban life.

Michele:  It’s interesting that your launching on an online platform.  How has technology changed the magazine industry?   
Veronica:  I hate to take the stance that print is dead because I love physically holding a magazine but laptops and smart phones have certainly changed the immediacy of it all.  We want it now and we want it fast.  Sex+Design addresses those desires by providing a daily stream of entertainment.

Michele:  I noticed 7×7 Magazine has their print version and then they have an online site that seems more like a blog for their writers.  The online site seems to be updated every day with new articles.  Do you think this is necessary to stay competitive?   
Veronica and Nico:  Absolutely!  Our site will be updated with goodies daily.  What’s important to us is that our content always remains quality.  We have a large stable of excellent writers submitting a variety of articles which will be peppered through the site.  We have so much to say….

Michele:  Have there been any challenges in launching the magazine & what has helped you overcome them? 
Veronica and Nico:  TECHY shit!  Thank God we have friends!

Michele:  What has contributed to the success of launching Sex+Design for both of you?
Nico:  Our friendship above all.  We have absolutely opposite strengths and that’s led to a fabulously productive partnership.

Michele:  Who is your target audience with the magazine?  
Veronica and Nico:  Sophisticated professionals seeking edgy, playful, intelligent content.

Michele:  I heard you will also be branching to other cities.  What are the next cities that Sex+Design will cover
Veronica and Nico: We will likely branch out to LA and NYC first, but going global is the overall goal.

Michele:  Do you think your people will openly acknowledge that they have a party lifestyle?  If so, what type of response will they get for themselves and the readers?  
Veronica and Nico:  I wouldn’t say party lifestyle, I’d say people who appreciate both sides of the coin.  Our audience is successful professionals, some have families, some own businesses – having a dynamic social life is just one aspect of living a full, fun and rewarding life. Who wants to look back and wish they did …?  Life is happening now. 

Sex+Design will be launching at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 on the website  For more information, check out their Facebook page:

Enjoy life with Sex+Design as they host a launch party at supperclub SF on May 19th, from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM.  The event is open to the publish and will be featuring a fashion show by local designers Lauren Rassel and Dexter Simmons of FLAWK.  

The launch party’s fashion show will be a great glimpse of the magazine’s innovative fashion editorials.  The Sex+Design show for FLAWK will be using silhouette repetition to evoke creepiness and sensuality.  A cohesive series of one-of-a-kind dresses, the collection is assembled from over-sized pants and fabric remnants.  Paired with a new line of oversized surgical shades, the look is theatric, but wearable and will be available for sale exclusively at the new SF boutique Wonderland.  

Join the launch of Sex+Design and find out why this is a magazine that will be making an impact on the literary scene.
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