This interview was originally published in PRESENT Issue 1.
Published online: September 19, 2022
Tricia Hello! Hugo Hello is it Tricia? Tricia Yes it is! It’s a funny thing to do this over the phone. Thanks for calling us! So you said you’ve known i-D since a long time? Hugo Yes, because I’m originally a graphic designer and magazines are one of the reasons I really got into this whole world and i-D was always there, since I was young. I was always publishing little magazines and doing interviews because it was such a perfect excuse to approach the people who are inspiring me. About three years ago I discovered your SOUL i-D book, which I immediately loved. The entire spirit of it was an inspiration for me personally and the PRESENT project I’m currently working on. Tricia That’s nice to hear! Where did you find the book? Hugo I think it was in the TASCHEN shop back in my hometown Cologne. I also just recently actually talked to Benedikt (Taschen) about it, because I am in the process of designing a book for him, and so we talked about PRESENT and i-D, so that was a nice full circle in a way! Tricia Well, we love Benedikt. We worked on a lot of projects with him like SMILE i-D and the i-D covers book. It was a great collaboration. We haven’t been in touch since a while though. Whenever we go to California, where he lives, it is much focused on family, because our daughter lives there too. But also because I know that if he takes one look at Terry, he will go “Oh, I might have a project for you!” (laughs) But we are really happily retired. The great thing with Benedikt is that you only ever have to get is OK. If he says to you over dinner, Yes, I will do it — then it’s going to happen. His word is his bond. He is amazing and if you are going to work with him that will be fun! Hugo What I find really impressive is that Terry and you are doing this together as couple and as a team since such a long time. Obviously, it is a lot of work to publish a magazine, create a whole universe, and a community out of it. And it is a challenge not to become a total workaholic while doing this, or neglecting your friends, or your health. You two seem to have done a great job, because you also raised a family and seem to have stayed positive, even in rough times. I was wondering are there any secrets, any wisdom you could share with us? 
If we look back on our careers we noticed that we haven’t changed our spirit. We always fought to do the things we want to do and that were close to our principles, turning down the stuff that we didn’t want to do. It all comes back to “enough”.
Tricia So it all started in our house. In the beginning I wasn’t involved, i-D was very much Terry’s concept. When he was still working at Vogue, he hadn’t decided that he really wanted to do this magazine yet. One day he came up with the name i-D, among others, and I said “yes! that’s the one!” So we started planning this together. When the magazine started in 1980, I was still teaching and I was a young mum. On the top floor of our house there was Terry’s studio and we would have people up there to help him work on the magazine — nobody got paid, it was all done for love — and people would come after work, or after college, people like Dylan Jones, Caryn Franklin and Robin Derrick, because they loved Terry’s ideas. But I was sometimes getting worried in the evening, because they were working non-stop, so I made them all pasta and salad to make sure they ate (laughs) Terry is one of those people, if he’s into something, time doesn’t matter anymore, he keeps working. So I would go upstairs at midnight and say “Terry, they need to go home!” Terry is the workaholic side of us and I’m the one who tries to look after the people. I think this is us in terms of our relationship as well. When he was at Vogue, before i-D, he was working on three issues at a time, so it was really intense. I made him realize that it was good for him to take some time off, to go on holiday, as well as it was good for us as a couple. I would just book something and say: OK, this is when we are going! Am I going too fast or is that ok? Hugo That’s perfect. Tricia We really tried to avoid having weekends with work or under pressure. I think having children ... do you have kids? Hugo Not yet, but a girlfriend! Tricia I think having children makes a difference because you sit down at the end of the day and you don’t necessarily talk about work, you talk about things that involve the kids. We were constantly working on trying to find a balance. You know, it isn’t always easy to work with your partner. Do you and your girlfriend work together? Hugo We actually do! Tricia I’m not pretending we didn’t have our arguments. Terry in- spires people, makes them do things they don’t even know they can do. After a work day he would sometimes say, I’ve seen a lot of great stuff today. And I told him, well, have you told the people? I think too often in life people complain more easily than they praise. I’m not talking about bullshit praise, I’m talking about sincerely telling to someone “Hey that’s good, well done!” Too often we assume that people around us know. But I think it’s important to clearly tell it. So I try not to forget to congratulate people, to say thank you, and to try and take care of their well-being. (laughs) Terry is smiling in the backround, because you are on the loudspeaker. 
“I learned to survive whatever the weather to believe that there is a sunny side to life and that positive thoughts make positive energy.”
Hugo Love it! I think it is such an important point. On another note, what are some other habits or things that you do on a regular basis in your life to keep a clear head, stay present and not dwell on mistakes? Tricia Honestly, you’re speaking to someone who’s 72 now, so a lot of things come with getting older. If I got this question when I was 30 or 40 I would have had very different answers. But since at least 12 years we’ve been doing yoga daily. I am also a huge fan of big nature, walking, hiking. I just need space, I need a beautiful view. Nature is my church. But I also want to mention to you the importance of gratitude. When you are grateful in life, it changes everything. It’s really been a cornerstone of where we are today in our lives. So often people are being told by advertising or social media that everything has to be perfect, has to be the best, the biggest, the coolest, but if we all calm down a bit and understand that enough is a really good word, than life would get a lot easier. For me, a good life is about trying to stick to your principles. You should be able to look in the mirror after whatever has happened and be able to say “I tried and I did the best I could.” When you work on a project like i-D, or publishing something like that you have to be true to yourself and not just think “Is that cool?” If we had the magazine now, I would try to republish SOUL, because I think it is more and more relevant today. Hugo There is this quote from Terry in SOUL that I really like: “I learned to survive whatever the weather to believe that there is a sunny side to life and that positive thoughts make positive energy.” What impact had positive thinking on your life?
Soul i-D, edited by Tricia Jones and published by Taschen in 2008 is a 600-page visual anthology of ideas and images features personal insights and contributions from some of the most creative names in contemporary fashion, music, art, and design. (One of my personal favorites!)
Tricia I do think that positivity is tremendously important. That being said I think the world is getting a little bit full of people that think that just by imagining something it’s going to make it happen. You have to make it real with your own hands! My father gave me a wonderful piece of advice, which carried him through the war: “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and take what comes.” I found this quite useful actually. OK, stop for me, I’m going to pass you on to Terry! Terry Hi Hugo! What I meant is that I put in this practice of staying positive as much as I could, whatever the day was like. I probably have this from childhood, of not wanting to dwell on any bad experiences, but moving forward with the good stuff and building on that. When I work with people I try to tap into their energy or the energy that is around them. All I can be is the mirror and trying to intensify it. I’m happy I have worked with many positive people. Of course sometimes I can be putting out negative energy too, but I try to control it. Basically that would be my thing, when it is raining while you were expecting sunshine, you work with the rain. Hugo What do you consider a successful life? Or what does the word success mean to you for that matter? Are there any lessons learnt that you would like to tell people who are starting out? Terry The one big advantage I had is to have chosen the right partner in life. Working and collaborating with people is really important, and having a partner that you enjoy living and working is a gift. And I was lucky to have worked with many fantastic and diverse people throughout my career. At the end of the day it’s all about respect. Hugo Respect towards others, but also towards yourself, right? I think we have to be careful to not always put too much pressure on ourselves, which is something I’m struggling with. The drive to do everything as best as I can, trying to make everyone happy, deliver quality work, for my clients and my own projects, all while being a good friend and brother and boyfriend. I believe that ambition is a great trait, but I think we tend to be too way to hard on ourselves. 
“I always try to make the best out of every new day. I like to work towards perfection while knowing that perfection is a boring state. I would always push things until the very end of a deadline.”
Terry I always try to make the best out of every new day. I like to work towards perfection while knowing that perfection is a boring state. I would always push things until the very end of a deadline. Often I was the person in the final days going to the printer, chopping and changing at the last minute. In knowing that the following day, the weather would be different, and I’d probably chop and change in a different way. That’s the wonderful thing about doing a magazine, you have a cycle. But life is like that! In the kitchen you have to deal with whatever is available and you chop it together and try to make the best meal you can that day. And the next day you are going to have a bunch of different ingredients and different people working in the kitchen with you. You have to work on finding a way how to react and improvise in every new situation. You need to do the best you can, each day with the resources and the ingredients available to you. And I think on the successful life Tricia has some more words to add to that! (laughs) Tricia One more thing! If we look back on our careers we noticed that we haven’t changed our spirit. We always fought to do the things we want to do and that were close to our principles, turning down the stuff that we didn’t want to do. It all comes back to “enough”. I would not see a successful life in material terms at all. We have been incredibly fortunate with having kids and grandchildren we love. It is the best and hardest thing I’ll ever do, but this is what I would call a successful life. And if you have good health you have everything. The rest will follow. Just wake up, look around you and be grateful. Hugo I have a big smile on my face right now (laughs) Thank you! Tricia Oh, and one last thing, you probably know this woman’s work. She’s called Brené Brown. And she has given one of the most successful TED talk’s ever, “The power of vulnerability”. I was talking to the screen, that is how much I agree with her. She is outstanding. And if you ever meet her, give me a call, because I really want to meet her too (laughs) Hugo I will! Thank you Tricia and Terry for talking with me! Tricia And good luck with the project! Take care Hugo, and make sure you have time for your friends and family. Remember: Nobody ever said on their deathbed “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”!
Thank you Tricia and Terry!