l’idiot utile (“the useful idiot”) is a magazine dedicated to the thankless work of creatives

Proving that inspiration really can come from anywhere, Hubert picks out the TikTok trend-inspired shoot, made with designer Diane Gaignoux and the artist Hugo Baud, as a stand-out piece. “The idea was that these flying drawings would become masks frozen in the photograph,” he says. It’s a demonstration that, amid the weighty subject matter, the publication still holds space for Hubert’s signature organised chaos and experiments with patterns, textures and layers – not forgetting humour. And, despite the myriad problems that come with producing an independent magazine, Hubert and team created a journal that affirms the work of the undervalued, unrecognised and certainly underpaid creative class keeping the fashion industry afloat – and that’s no laughing matter.
The team embarked on a mission to realise this project but, for Hubert and Alexis, it was the first time they had taken on a project of this size. “The realisation of l’idiot utile followed the timing of our economic reality,” he tells It’s Nice That. But even from within the limitations of time and the challenges of scale, the magazine interrogated the ironies bubbling away in the industry. For one, they immediately paid all the contributors – a gesture showing that magazines can pay if they want to, even if “it forces us to question the temporality of the publication”, as Hubert mentions. Meanwhile, Hezin O was given copious amounts of space to flesh out her research-driven practice within Hubert’s maximalist vision. This was a creative choice that that led to subtle but impactful idiosyncrasies, like the fabric collection series being printed on very thin paper to give the impression of a fabric pile. “I decided to focus my graphic approach on the relationship between production methods and content,” Hezin O tells It’s Nice That.

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