Betting on yourself is never an easy feat but people like Dimitry Loiseau can help the rest of us stay on that gritty, sometimes lonely but also very fulfilling path. Dimitry is the Chief Editor and Fashion Photographer for Regard Magazine. He takes self-made and the meaning of entrepreneurship to the next level.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a part of the Regard Magazine family when filming Second Chance for FOX and it was there that I met Dimitry. We had one of the best conversations about life, world events and philosophies connected to these said events after our shoot. I learned how he and his partner Valerie started the magazine from scratch. I was so very impressed by him, that I wanted to introduce him to you. I hope you will take a read and be as inspired by him, his work ethic and his drive as I was.
Ok, let’s start from the beginning. Starting a magazine is no easy feat to say the least! But you dove in, beginning Regard Magazine 10 years ago with your partner, hair and makeup artist Valerie Noble. What made you want to start your own magazine?
Regard Magazine started because Valerie and I were frustrated at the lack of coverage and representation that most magazines had for the average actor on film and television. Most of the major magazines were primarily covering the major celebrities and talent. We saw an opportunity to create a niche audience who were excited to see their favorite actors and actresses from network, cable television and now, streaming content. Our objective was to create a platform where a diverse group of individuals would be featured in our publication. And that everyone would get the same “red carpet” treatment that the major stars did. In fact, several celebrities that were in the magazine went on to win Oscars, Emmys or become globally recognizable faces.
You really started from scratch. You had no contacts with agents, managers, PR representatives. What were those first phone calls like? How did you get people to finally start coming on board?
We really had no expectations, probably because we were so green in publishing a magazine at the time. As you mentioned, having no real connections in that space did pose a challenge. Our first issue was really to showcase the concept of the brand and the quality of the content. We featured all models in that first issue. By the time we were ready to produce Issue 2, we received a call from a PR company who really loved what we did and started featuring celebrity talent and actors from there on.
Most people wear one hat at work. Here you are the photographer, the reporter, the publisher. It’s pure grit. Did you know how to do all, when you started? What was that learning curve like?
First off, the learning process never stops! Yes, I do wear many hats, with the objective of being efficient in each and every hat. Being the photographer that shoots all the content for the magazine came natural, as this is what I did for a living. Although I write the content for the interviews we feature, I wouldn’t call myself a reporter per say. I have a lot of respect for actual reporters. I do enjoy writing and seem to have a natural lack for doing so. Therefore, when it comes to interviewing the talent, I merely see myself as the conduit between the talent and the audience, relaying the message being told.
With respect to publishing, the digital age has leveled the playing field where anyone who puts in the work and remains consistent can do the same thing. It’s actually putting in the work consistently that puts anyone to the test.
What was one of the hardest mountains you had to climb, personally, while you were trying to achieve your dreams and how did you deal with it?
I think the one thing that goes unnoticed or overlooked with respect to entrepreneurs is SACRIFICE! You sacrifice financial stability, what you’ll make every 2 weeks, time for family and friends, and an actual vacation!
Personal relationships can be challenging at times. Whether that be in the family or with friends, most people only see what is visible in front of them. They don’t see the hardships, the sleepless nights, the constant “talking yourself off the ledge” to quit, the many times you go without the things that most people take for granted. Then, there’s the constant self-doubt. Nothing comes easy from a life of an entrepreneur.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to pave their own way, what would it be?
Surround yourself with people who make you a better version of yourself. Everything else will fall in place.
What came first, chicken or egg?
I think that 2 chickens were necessary for the egg to exist. So the question is where did the chickens come from? LOL
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Having the ability to instantly transport myself from one time zone to the next!
What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were to start this process over again?
Nothing. Absolutely, nothing.
Who has had the biggest influence in your life, historically or present?
There are many that have influenced me in various ways. Steve Jobs was the ultimate entrepreneur for me. His attention to detail. His commitment to excellence and sticking to it no matter what anyone around him said. From a photography standpoint, Gordon Parks was nothing short of amazing. He was one of, if not, the first African American photographer in the U.S. He came from humbled beginnings, his teachers discouraged him from pursuing higher education and yet, proved everyone wrong. He went on to produce fashion editorials for Life and Vogue magazines. Some of his famous portraits include Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. He continued his career as a director with big hits like Shaft. A great example on believing in yourself and pushing forward, no matter what!
What are you most proud of?
Being able to understand and connect with people from different cultural backgrounds, who speak different languages, have a different belief system and look different than I do. That’s what life is truly about.
Do ghosts exist?
Yes. My advice, be sure to social distance.
What kind of music do you like?
All kinds, truly. It depends on my mood. But my playlist includes, classic hip hop, R&B, Reggaeton, Reggae, Pop, a little Country. I’ll also take it back with legends like Prince, Hall & Oates, Amy Winehouse and Sting. The list goes on….
Let’s say reincarnation exists, if you had to do it all over again, would you? And no, you can’t start with the lessons you’ve learned this go around.
I would. I may have made a few different decisions, but yes, I’d do it again.