My idols are dead and my enemies are in power.
For half of the years I’ve lived in New York, I was “Busra from BULLETT.” It was an identity I carried around as I met my first friends and collaborators in the city—and made a small entry into the seemingly bon vivant (but often very broke) life of a New York editor. It had all started in the summer of 2010, lugging empty suitcases from an apartment on St. Marks into Midtown to pick up Oscar de la Renta gowns and Bvlgari necklaces. At the end of that summer, I left enchanted. BULLETT said if things went well with the yet-to-be-born first issue, they would consider hiring me.
Some people get their first magazine jobs at a Condé or Hearst. The more I’ve been to those places, the more I realize I couldn’t have asked for a better editorial education than my first job at BULLETT. Our pitch meetings were cut-throat, you had to show up prepared, be confident, articulate and even loud. It was hard to get your voice heard (years later, I’m better at showing up prepared—the rest, I still find difficult). We worked with the likes of Jada Yuan, John Ortved, and Luke O’Neil, whose work and careers I admired. My first editorial director, Nick Haramis (now the EIC of Andy Warhol’s Interview) happens to be the toughest editor in the kingdom: where he cut other people’s work, it bled. Most of my ideas as to what an editor should be come from Nick Haramis. I learned how to be a freelance writer from Luke, who strongly advised against this choice, but graciously helped me along the way, anyway.
BULLETT invented a visual language that was adopted by mainstream publications (and consequently, various e-commerce platforms) three years after it first appeared in the print magazine’s pages. Blame James Orlando, an impeccable artist and our once creative director for all the pastel hues, lucite heels, and palm trees that still loom around the Internet. In the room adjacent to his, Morey Talmor and his team designed each issue from scratch. If you wanted to get shit done you went to Jack Becht, also there. Right outside was Ayhan Sav, our HR manager, mother and CFO, all rolled into one. Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella was three floors down, and downstairs from it, a Hot Yoga studio and haunted house where you could supposedly get raped by consent. So New York.
BULLETT was pulling all-nighters for two weeks straight—without weekends or overtime—and still meeting up for a drink on the evening of our first day off. I will be forever grateful for the experience, and the comradeship of the talented people I was surrounded by.
Idil, thank you for believing in me more than I believed in myself. You are a visionary, and you will always be 10 years ahead of everyone—even after you stop coming to the Internet.
What will people read when all “content” is trash and print is obsolete/super expensive? The answer, as hard as it is to admit: I think they just won’t read.
If anyone comes looking for me, I will be segueing into a new industry and working on my book—like half of the other writers and editors I know.
-Busra Erkara, BULLETT Managing Editor
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