FRISCHE magazine began like how all other passion projects begin: out of frustration, a lack of external opportunity, and a desire to wreak havoc. In other words, to cause a stir by rousing a sleepy commercial-oriented fashion industry and against that, champion the “young, brave, and f*cking fabulous,” as their mantra goes.
Founders Wally Sparks and Bobbi Paidel quickly established the bold, grit and grime niche of their bi-annual publication with the first issue and by their second, expanded to include an international roster of contributors. By day, Wally is a freelance photographer and Bobbi, a stylist. At the helm of FRISCHE, he’s editor-in-chief and she’s fashion editor (but really, they’ve got their hands in all corners of the publication). Much like the talent it seeks to expose, FRISCHE is fledgling magazine, and as such, uninhibited by the constraints of advertisers, publishers, and public opinion—for now.
TLL speaks with Wally and Bobbi while they’re still climbing the ladder…
Wally and Bobbi first met while shooting creatives on various sets around Toronto. A mutual desire to see their work published in its rawest form led him to approach her about starting a magazine.
B: The purpose was for us to get exposure, to promote ourselves as a photographer and stylist. And then it grew into something bigger.
W: Toronto wasn’t comfortable with the aesthetic that we were coming up with. It’s more raw, it’s more grungy—
B: It’s more youth driven as opposed to commercial, clean, safe fashion, you know?
W: We’ve proven that we can do both, but this is the kind of fashion we’re into, this is the kind of photography we’re into. Nobody’s really doing it in our market. I mean, we’d have to go to New York or the UK to see this, to fit in.
B: We’re trying to bring something to Toronto that we felt it was lacking in terms of fashion publications. That super photoshopped, super clean, glamorous look—it’s beautiful—but we’re into what’s more real, sexual, creative and underground. But at the same time, it’s challenging to have a magazine be successful when you are doing something that is more underground and not backed as much as it would be if it were something that’s commercially friendly in a very commercial city and industry.