Autumn, Issue 86, Out Now

Letter from the Editor, Claudia Cusano

We are beings in a momentous time, with unacceptable realities concerning human rights, racism, the environment, misogyny, and the consequences of disposable consumerism. With each passing day, we hope for some better news around the world. Many, optimistic about a start to a new cycle, have been advocating a reset.

The outside noise is loud. Everyone seems to have a polarized opinion: social distancing, non-essential errands, capitalism versus socialism, mask mandates, virtual learning, even whether we should celebrate Canada Day. In whatever direction you are pulled, living fully comes with inherent risk and due diligence. In these strange times, I often wonder what life will be like after all that has happened. No matter the scenarios that flood my head, I am confident the best way to prepare is to simply adapt, react, and embrace.

While living in Florence, I have met wonderful people—unexpected encounters that have made the journey so exciting. The streets in Italy seem to sway unexpectedly in a direction you weren’t meaning to go but are happy you did. Similarly, life surprises with the unexpected, humble doors leading to magical places. From the earliest days of the pandemic, Andrà tutto bene (Everything will be all right) became a nationwide motto in Italy as we harboured our own fears. Even while locked in our apartments, we cheered and sang to each other through our tears. My year living under the Tuscan sun has taught me that, much like Italian food, life should be simple with a few good ingredients and easily improvised. No one is sure how things will end up, but we need to carve out joy and meaning in uncertainty.

For the past few months, we have been focusing our efforts on, and while we are still celebrating and talking about craftsmanship and creativity, we continue to integrate current event storylines. We’ve undergone a little nip and tuck on our website and are pleased with our renewed digital face. Mindful of the health and safety of our team and community, we have been working from home, making many video calls across varying time zones.

Fall is traditionally the most prominent fashion season, and while the industry, the world, live a lifestyle of suspended time, we depict that in “Out of Body,” with a mix of styles for men and women photographed in the breezy autumn wind. The cover for this Issue 86, without a human subject, projects the absences that have defined the year. In this autumn edition, we branched out into new territory and asked a few poets—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Ken Babstock, Karen Solie, Maria Borio, Adèle Barclay—to create and respond to the pandemic in the best way they know how. For “Poems From Isolation,” the five wrote poetry as a song to life and antidote to despair, showcased alongside illustrations by Makoto Chi. Ian Williams, Catriona Jeffries, Masai Ujiri, Marie Clements, Fisun Ercan—all Canadians from various walks of life—are also profiled in this creative collective of Issue 86.

As a small, independent company, we are in a uniquely strong position that occupies a large footprint within an industry of huge conglomerates. NUVO’s publisher (my father) made a promise that not one single employee would lose their job throughout this, and this commitment is backed by you, our dedicated readership. NUVO is built on an ecosystem of talent, and one of our greatest accomplishments is the community, friendships, and trust that we have helped grow over the past 22 years. Despite all that is out of our control, we can find those slices of joy in life—zucchini blossoms, Renaissance art, and NUVO being a few of them.


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