Lucky Editor Brandon Holley Opened Max Fish!

brandon holley courtesy photo 0 Lucky Editor Brandon Holley Opened Max Fish!Back in September, Brandon Holley replaced Kim France as editor in chief of Lucky. Today The New York Times wonders what Holley’s background in alt women’s magazines (Jane) and corporate women’s blogs (Yahoo’s Shine) means for the watery shopping mag. Probably good things!

But the most interesting line in Holley’s resume is bartender at the landmark Lower East Side dive Max Fish (which, N.B., is not closing anymore).

After graduating from Barnard in 1989, she was part of a Lower East Side crowd that helped Ulli Rimkus establish Max Fish, the Ludlow Street bar/gallery that was an epicenter of alternative arts and music in the 1990s. Ms. Holley was one of the bartenders on opening night, the other being the artist Harry Druzd.

“It was a really great scene, and then it very quickly became Evan Dando and Courtney Love getting crazy in a booth,” she said. “But it was still so much fun.”

It was at Max Fish that Ms. Holley met David Hershkovits, who a few years earlier had helped start Paper, the downtown-oriented magazine. When he learned that Ms. Holley planned to write a book about one of her passions, American muscle cars, Mr. Hershkovits asked her to submit an article on the topic. It was the start of Ms. Holley’s magazine career (the book was never written).

In case this anecdote is one of those only-news-to-me-because-I-was-in-second-grade-at-the-time things, here’s a rundown of what, besides spraying it with cool girl fumes, Holley has planned for Lucky:

  • “More words.” (!)
  • “Prettier” models (?)
  • Pricier accessories
  • A blog collective and a more social website (Remember how much she likes UGC?)
  • Two spin-off magazines for kids and home, expected to launch this year

All fashion magazines are about shopping, so we’ve always admired Lucky‘s honesty, but we wonder how any printed mag can compete with the free, online, DIY versions like Polyvore.

kstoeffel@observer.com :: @kstoeffel