Mission, a digital-focused philanthropic fashion media brand that also has a biannual fashion magazine, was founded in 2017, but is really hitting its stride this year.
Karina Givargisoff, founder and editor in chief of the title that spotlights different causes in each issue, has welcomed a number of major fashion brands on board as advertisers over the past year, many of which will be featured in the latest issue to be released Friday.
As a result, for the first time Mission is able to donate $10,000 to Gigi’s Playhouse New York, which offers programs for those with Down syndrome. The hope is that the magazine will become profitable enough for all proceeds from each issue to benefit those charities highlighted, aside from Mission’s operational costs. Past issues have focused on women, the environment, youth and the LGBTQIA+ community.
“With all the events of last year, I think it has put Mission at the forefront of being a transparent, meaningful media platform,” said Givargisoff, who started the magazine following her friend being diagnosed with breast cancer several years after her mother and brother died within 13 months of each other. “This is the first time we have had Tiffany’s advertise with us. It is brilliant to see that in the issue. That makes me very proud that brands of such caliber are giving recognition to us.”
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In addition to Tiffany, in the latest issue there is also an interactive men’s shoot with Valentino; another collaboration with Dior Beauty about activism and humanity, and a first-time appearance from Louis Vuitton. “They did something very radical and advertised bang smack in the middle of the magazine. This was [Louis Vuitton’s senior vice president for communication and events] Stefano Cantino’s genius idea. They also allowed us to customize all three spreads with each one, in a handwritten Mission font with our tag line on each image.”
The brands join longtime advertiser Gucci, which Givargisoff, a stylist and creative director who once worked for WWD, credits for being “the first brand to really champion what I was trying to do.”
The cover face, meanwhile, is Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old model with Down syndrome, who Givargisoff spotted in a Gucci Beauty campaign. She also features in a video for Mission shot by Sølve Sundsbø.
“I lost my brother who was Downs, so it was a very special project I wanted to do,” Givargisoff added of her latest cover face. “The whole thing is so inspiring to me and the reason why I do Mission, why I wanted to do this. Ellie just gives me so much joy in watching her.“
The issue, which is dedicated to the goodness that lies within humanity, features more than 450 pages of human rights activists, artists, and visionaries from around the world. Just a few of the other subjects included in the issue are Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Yemen human rights activist Radhya Al-Mutawakel, and Chris Nikic, the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon.
The print issue is $15 and the interactive digital version is $12. Givargisoff, who doesn’t take a salary, has personally funded Mission for the most part with savings and loans and received a grant in 2019, although that ended amid the pandemic. She’s currently searching for a business partner to help grow Mission into other arenas.
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