If you're a magazine publisher trying to reach 18- to 25-year-old females, who better to enlist than a group of 18- to 25-year-olds?

That's the theory behind Modus, a sports-driven lifestyle and fashion magazine that will be produced by a team of students from Los Angeles' Otis College of Art and Design and bankrolled by Action Sports Group, a unit of Primedia Inc., the publisher of Motor Trend magazine and many other targeted publications.

Four faculty members and 15 students will provide the creative and editorial energy for the 140-page publication, which beginning in September will be included with three Action Sports Group magazines: Surfer, Surfing and Snowboarder.

"The key is to focus on what's new and what's next, and our students will drive the fashion, design and trend forecasts," said Samuel Hoi, president of Otis College. "This kind of project is real-world experience for the students involved. It's not a 'student magazine.' They have to present all their ideas to Action Sports to be vetted through their staff."

The idea to collaborate with the school on a magazine came about last summer, after Action Sports decided to stop publication of SG, an action sports title for females. SG was launched eight years ago as an insert in Primedia's surf magazines, but after it was spun off as its own stand-alone magazine it failed to reach the volume of female readers the group had hoped for. They decided to combine the new magazine with the other three other mags, which already reach many young women.

"The answer was right in front of our nose and we hadn't really seen it," said Don Meek, Action Sports Group president. "The disappointing thing was we were missing any opportunity to go after any fashion direction that was coming out of those sports that's huge right now and very, very big in influencing girls' fashion. Sports culture today has a global reach."

Meek approached Otis about the project through friends on the college's board in early September and weeks later the college and Action Sports were setting up the collaboration.

Action Sports which publishes eight action sports titles and 11 Web sites has committed to publishing spring and fall editions of the new mag.

Meek said Modus could evolve into a stand-alone title. It will have an oblong shape rather than the standard magazine format and will feature a heavy matte cover.


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