CircleZeroEight: The New Publication Uniting Sport With Fashion
Before he got into fashion, Elgar Johnson’s first love was sport. The stylist and creative consultant, formerly the British GQ Style deputy editor and fashion director, is an avid Liverpool FC supporter, often using his work to fuse sport with style. Whether it’s dressing renowned British athletes – Lewis Hamilton and Marcus Rashford included – to working with London-based sportswear designer Saul Nash on his fledgling namesake label, Johnson has managed to merge his two passions with ease and sophistication.
All this makes the launch of CircleZeroEight terribly exciting. The new bi-annual publication strives to “spotlight the unique power of sport to thrill and entertain as well as overcome prejudice, intolerance and discrimination,” as stated in a press release. The idea to launch the publication came to Johnson while visiting Frieze art fair last year. “I think it was being overwhelmed by seeing all these brilliant people doing loads of different things; like all of your senses tingling. I just had a desire to do something different,” says Johnson. “I’m not a connoisseur of art by any means but I really wanted to find a way to incorporate it. Sport was a pretty obvious candidate, not just because of my personal obsession with it, but also over the last few years in particular, it has started to intersect with so many different areas.”
Declan Rice, photography by Maxwell Tomlinson
Launching exclusively with the Design Museum, the inaugural issue of CircleZeroEight, dubbed Fresh, views the world of sport through a distinct new eye. Featuring footy star Declan Rice, athlete and model Annie Jill Tagoe and nine-time Olympic gold medalist, Carl Lewis, as its first cover stars, Johnson says the trio promote CircleZeroEight’s core values: “Aspiration and positivity, without a hierarchy. Sport is for everyone. Declan Rice, Annie Tagoe and Carl Lewis are sportspeople at different stages in their careers who all incorporate the same beliefs and ethics to be the best,” he says.
The publication features contributions from Katie Grand, Dan May, Saul Nash, Lauren Cochrane and Ewen Spencer, who each communicate sport through an innovative light. “I purposely put together a team that was not sport obsessed but came with different perspectives and a different idea of how it can intersect,” says Johnson. “There is a world of sport to be investigated and it’s constant. It will evolve and we are a magazine that can evolve with it.”
Top image: Annie Jill Tagoe, photography by Sølve Sundsbø. Issue 01 of CircleZeroEight, ‘Fresh’, will be available in print, exclusively at the Design Museum from April 28 and in select stores from May 5.