I've had the pleasure of working with Beyoncé Knowles on a number of high-profile projects. I first met her when asked to do a profile on a new girl group from Houston called Destiny’s Child weeks before a song called "No, No, No" dropped. When I walked into the record label conference room to meet her, she was having a conversation with her mom & dad about whether the group's outfits were too sexy for 15-year-olds! Years later, when she signed off on me running my first GIANT cover of her in rollers and lingerie, it set off a career achievement for me. Thanks B.
Wow. It’s not often an opportunity comes along that lets you, as a creative person, flex the lessons you’ve learned, relationships you’ve fostered, or vision you’ve worked on since you were an oversized suit-wearing intern some ten years before. It’s not often an opportunity comes along when you’re given the keys to a house and asked to redecorate the place. Strip the paint, tear down the walls, buy some new furniture, add some color.
That opportunity for me is now, and somehow I didn’t quite hear that walk before you can run adage. I got the hit-the-ground-as-fast-as-you-possibly-can lesson. Maybe that’s because I’m part of a generation that works and hustles and aspires as part of our everyday lives—a GIANT generation, where, if you’re fortunate enough to add some smarts and skill to that race you just can’t bow out of, you might win a prize, pass GO in a real big way.
This will explain why my first cover star is the great BEYONCE KNOWLES. She’s been passing GO, collecting those hundred dollar bills, for a long time now. Hers isn’t play money, either, and she deserves it all. The spectacular photographs by Ellen Von Unwerth that make up “If I Was Your Girlfriend” show private, intimate images of the most beautiful girl in the world. It’s a special story that embodies GIANT’s new purpose: a thoroughly modern entertainment magazine that uses great photographs and engaging journalism to celebrate the skill and charisma of the best of ourselves.
If “hustle is the new talent,” as my friend, mentor and editorial director, likes to say, then I’m turned-on by putting them both together. My name is Smokey D. Fontaine, the new Editor In Chief of GIANT magazine.
Good morning, world. It’s time to get big.