ZEITmagazin : Big in Japan

The first "International Issue" of ZEITmagazin is now on sale around the world. It is completely in English. How did that happen?
Reading our "International Issue" next to a temple in Kyoto © Sebastian Mayer

It all started on one of those rare sunny winter days in Berlin, last February. I was having lunch with Brigitte Lacombe, the legendary photographer I had admired for many years. We met at the restaurant Pauly Saal on Auguststraße. It was our first meeting in person, but it felt like we had known each other for years. We shared stories about people we both loved to work with, exchanged our views on the magazine world, and when we were ready for ordering, the French-born Brigitte, ever curious, insisted on having a German white wine, not the Sancerre I had asked for. She had just started her weekly ZEITmagazin column, The Moment, where she chooses one of her photos and tells our readers about the situation she has captured in it. She told me how much she liked the design of our magazine and the way we handle photography. Then she added: "I wish I could read it."

More and more often in recent years, members of our editorial team have had similar conversations with people in New York, Milan, London and Paris who had received copies of ZEITmagazin and all made the same point: "I wish I could read it."

So here we go: We are proud to present our first international issue, distributed worldwide via the wonderful magazine and concept stores that have contributed to the flourishing of new international magazines over the past decade. For the first time, we are publishing our favorite stories, portraits, interviews, portfolios, fashion and design spreads from the previous few months – completely in English. Luckily, one of our editors at ZEITmagazin, Jürgen von Rutenberg, is actually a native speaker (despite his very German name). With the help of professional translators and an American copy editor, none of the quality of the original stories was lost in translation. The international issue is our "Best of"-compilation: 260 pages, made in Berlin.

The writer Kurt Tucholsky once defined this city’s spirit with just two words: "Berlin wird" – "Berlin becomes." Today, that description still rings true. Berlin is in flux, constantly evolving. It’s this openness that makes so many creative people from all over the world want to spend time in this city. They can relate to the "Berlin State of Mind", whether they live in New York (like our cover model, Dree Hemingway) or anywhere else.

You will find a lot of Berlin in this issue but even more stories about the wider world we are part of – just like you do every week in regular issues of DIE ZEIT and ZEITmagazin. Our German readers will have a chance to rediscover some of their favorite stories in a new layout, a different context – and a (more or less) foreign language.

By the way, at the end of our lunch, Brigitte said that she really liked the German Riesling we had. She even photographed the bottle’s label.

You can order a copy of ZEITmagazin’s International Issue (€ 8,90 + € 2,20 postage within Germany. Prices in other currencies on request) via this e-mail-address: international@zeit.de


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