Jan-Willem DIKKERS

Editorial / Creative Director | ISSUE

Jan-Willem Dikkers is a creative director and photographer and with over 20 years of experience in leading-edge fashion editorial, celebrity portraiture, and advertising in New York, Paris and Los Angeles. 

Experience includes work for i-D, Interview, Vogue Italia, Nylon, L’Uomo Vogue, Self Service, Armani, Amazon, Estée Lauder, Levi’s, and Versace; and collaborations with artists Larry Clark, Bob Richardson, David Hamilton, Richard Kern, Mary Ellen Mark, Paul McCarthy, Marilyn Minter, Jack Pierson, Denis Piel, Thomas Ruff, Deborah Turbeville.

Jan is currently based in Los Angeles where he lives with his family, runs Issue Magazine and consults for clients.


1. What was your very first job?  

Unrelated: Stock boy and deliveries for Alexanders Pharmacy on the upper east side in NYC.

Slightly related:  Worked at counter and developing film at Photo Service in Paris. 

Most related: Intern turned assistant art director at Shahid and Co. in New York.

2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

For Issue magazine, my job is to find the most interesting, new or renewed, talent or projects and come up with engaging and creative ways to present them editorially. For clients it is mostly figuring out how to do the same work as leading international brands for 1/20 or even 1/50 of the budget. And then to do it again for even less. This includes Casting, production, graphic design, photography, video, post-production, brand strategy, social media, content development, and e-commerce.

3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

Back in 1993, mid college while at Northwestern University, I signed up for a year long class in creative advertising that was taught in downtown Chicago at Leo Burnett by their creatives. I really identified with everything and knew right then that this was what I would pursue. I skipped all the on campus recruiting and instead sent letters to everyone I could find in Adweek for informational interviews in NY. My 1st internship at Shahid and Co. set my path more specifically for the fashion industry. Sam Shahid had just opened his agency with two employees and his clients included brands such as Valentino, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Iceberg, and Pepe Jeans; photographers Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Glenn Luchford and more; Mirabella magazine; and books for Ellen Von unwerth and Kelly Klein. Several months later he referred me for a job at DKNY in house where I was working with the team that later grew into Laird and Partners. After about a year and a half I set up the in house creative department at Armani Exchange and found myself presenting campaigns to Mr Armani in Milan. I began working very closely with late photographer Manuela Pavesi and for several year I art directed campaigns and editorial for a bunch of different high profile clients. By this time I was running my own small agency and launched my 1st publication that evolved into Issue Magazine. In the early 2000s I freelanced for AR New York on a bunch of creative projects as well as launched their publishing department, where I produced and edited Versace Magazine, and later launched Influence Magazine.

After 10 years in NY I though it was time to move and left for Paris for the next 4 years where I did magazine work for Hachette and Edition Jalou as well as launched Whitewall magazine as creative director and later editorial director as well. Then off to LA where I quickly landed at BCBG Group where I managed all brands aside from BCBG - this included image reboot for Hervé Leger and Max Azria, launch of BCBGeneration, and Max & Miley (Line with Miley Cyrus), and campaigns for Manoukian. Shortly thereafter, I was recruited by Amazon to build and define their fashion category as we know it today. We were in tough competition with Google's boutiques and Ebay's fashion initiatives and we by far won hands down. By mid 2011 I was back in Los Angeles where I relaunched and repositioned brands such as Halston, Torrid, Hot Topic, Stateside as well as my own Issue Magazine. 

4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

Through Issue Magazine I am constantly bombarded with the most exciting creative work and project in art, film, and music. Running a magazine allows you to practice all kinds of fresh, innovative, and relevant ideas.

5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

I'm still working on it :) 


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