Double delight as magazine signs WH Smith deal

AN arts magazine launched by a York graduate four years ago has signed a lucrative contract with WH Smith which will see its distribution double.

Aesthetica magazine was first published in 2003 on an initial budget of only 2,000 from the living room of editor-in-chief and managing director, Cherie Federico, after she graduated from the then York St John College.

But the magazine's reputation has since soared and recent articles have included features on writers Benjamin Zephaniah and Tony Harrison as well as pieces on bands including Sheffield's Brit Award-winning Arctic Monkeys and Muse.

The new deal with WH Smith will mean that Aesthetica will be sold in more than 200 outlets across Britain and Ireland.

The quarterly magazine, which is now in its 17th issue, has a readership of more than 15,000 as far afield as Hong Kong, California and Mexico.

Miss Federico has continued to have close links with York St John, which was given university status last October, and has helped organise work placements for 14 students at the magazine.

She said: "Aesthetica magazine was started by students with no funding, no business plan, but a lot of enthusiasm and determination.

"Now it is an arts resource throughout the UK and Ireland.

"The students that have worked with us along the way have been instrumental in our success by giving us valuable time to develop and grow. I'm very grateful."

Aesthetica has grown following investment from solicitor and entrepreneur, Bruce Corrie, of York-based Corries Solicitors. The offices are now at Rowntree Wharf.