Contrary to the official Instagram feed, it’s not all sneaker drops and new collections in the HS office. Quite a bit of printed matter comes through our doors.
Some of the selections are paper imprints from our favorite brands or agencies, others are indie publications that have piqued our interest — all feature distinctive storytelling, even if it isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes we’re drawn to a particularly ardent piece of prose, other times it’s arresting photography or an unusual layout that makes us revisit an already-read page, sometimes it’s a combination of all three.
Every week we’ll be sharing a few of the volumes that have found a permanent home on our office shelves or in the living spaces of our writers and editors.
Rough Trade Zine
Rough Trade Records first opened on Ladbroke Grove in London in 1976. The store’s concept was inspired by an indie bookshop in San Fransisco that created an environment where patrons were encouraged to stay onsite to engage with the books rather than just purchasing them and leaving. Rough Trade wanted to reflect a similar attitude, aiming to create a community of music lovers.
The company’s zine, now in its seventh issue, carries on this tradition. Every month incredible music and culture stories come to life in a series of interviews, opinion pieces and quirky Q&A’s, all illustrated with off-the-wall graphics. This month’s highlights include a list of Rolling Stone top 500 albums names that also sound like fart jokes (yes, it’s hilarious, and yes Stankonia made the list), as well as a love letter to Bruce Springsteen. As always, there’s plenty of reader-submitted content originating from Rough Trade outposts in the US and UK.
The Bushcraft Guide
Let’s pretend for one second you’re driving back from the Catskills (or something) and some real messiness goes down and you somehow end up stranded in a remote location on some My Side of the Mountain shit. Could you survive? Do you even forage, bro? Well, that’s the entire point of The Bushcraft Guide, it’s a bible of useful information for cutting it in the wilderness.
Weighing in at slightly under 300 pages, the guide contains incredibly detailed how-tos encompassing everything from identifying edible vegetables that don’t require refrigeration to several methods for camp cooking, and water filtration. Author Dave Canterbury is so thorough he even includes a chapter dedicated to creating basic tools for living without using manmade tools – so meta. It might seem little silly to read up on this kind of information in our current world, especially since many of us adopt the attitude that it’s pretty hard to get stranded anywhere. Nevertheless, this is a valuable little volume for outdoor lovers and city slickers alike – there’s something about it that transports you right back to childhood.
Vans “Off the Wall” Expanded Edition
For brands, history often repeats itself. And many find that when they embrace their history they create a sense of nostalgia and loyalty in patrons. This year Vans is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In honor of the landmark occasion they’ve re-issued the Off the Wall book, a hardcover tome that encompasses all that is the brand from its genesis to contemporary times. The book’s writer, Doug Paladin, has also added two extra chapters that pay homage to Vans Made-in-America history, and its vault.
At just over 200 pages, readers can peruse an interview with the Steve Van Doren, the son of brand founder, Paul Van Doren, as well as a detailed overview of how Vans and skate culture became synonymous. Other highlights include full-length photographs of some of the brands most iconic collaborations and silhouettes.
Jeans of the Old West
One of author and commercial painter Michael Harris’s hobbies involves traveling to decrepit silver mines in California, Nevada and Arizona. He’s far from your average tourist though, Harris goes specifically to search for denim left by the miners who worked on the sites as far back as the 1800s. Jeans of the Old West is a testament to his hobby, and the volume goes far beyond being a mere archive of style.
Instead, it provides a detailed history of manufacturing and industry in the United States during the Gold Rush that saw many leaving their ancestral homes in hopes of finding riches beyond their imagination. Harris also details the development of workwear in the US, chronicling how the need for stronger work pants led to new and innovative developments in denim. Anyone who geeks out over fashion history will easily find themselves drawn into this book, which includes gems like a photo of one of the oldest jean jackets made. Harris was actually responsible for its discovery and the jacket now makes its home in the very fitting archive of OG denim brand, Levis.
There really isn’t much to explain here: this is a zine of illustrated celebrity boobs straight from the mind of artist Ken Kagami. Expect big boobs, small boobs, saggy boobs, perky boobs, square boobs, triangle boobs, nipple-less boobs, overly-nippled boobs – basically boobs for days.
The edition was co-published by Geneva-based Innen and Zurich-based publisher of indie art zines, Nieves. Kagami, for his part, is a Tokyo-based illustrator whose work is described by Nieves as, “being characterized by simple expressions of conflicting ideas that confront social taboos.” Perhaps that doesn’t really explain why Selena Gomez has a half-circle and triangle and one nipple for a boob, or why Sarah Jessica Parker’s resemble socks, but who cares? Because…boobs.
Check out last week’s NSFW books and magazines to read here.
- Photography: Thomas Welch / Highsnobiety.com