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.
Berlin-based 032c is a front runner in the contemporary fashion and culture business. Its latest issue has a large YEEZY spread directed by Kanye West, a profile on prolific designer Helmut Lang and most importantly, an in-depth look at us. Yes, Highsnobiety. Highsnobiety vs Hypebeast to be exact – a story we all figured would happen at some point.
Tokyo-based POPEYE Magazine launched in 1976, making it one of the oldest men’s fashion magazines in Japan. Despite its advanced years, the publication has continued to set the standard for unpacking current trends and discussing how they relate to contemporary times.
The latest issue, themed around “My Favorite Art,” turns the focus on a global array of artists working across all disciplines. One section, for instance, serves as a retrospective of the abstract painting greats. Another section tries to answer the question of why contemporary art matters.
You don’t have to be an art snob to enjoy, as always, Popeye remains loyal to its vertical of birth: fashion. Many of the editorials are set in art spaces and galleries or feature playful recreations of iconic art pieces in odd settings. The cover is also a bit of a treat for Stussy fans; it is the creation of artist and former brand collaborator, Tomoo Gokita.
The Lee Cooper Collection
The Lee Cooper Collection is an impeccably designed 90-plus page testament to the keen aesthetic eye of London-based creative content agency, Document Studios. As the company itself says, they are “all about alternative storytelling.”
As a result, this denim-dedicated edition hardly takes the approach one would immediately expect. Yes, it is an exploration of the Lee Cooper brand, which was founded in East London a little over 100 years ago. However the focus is specifically the Cooper Collection, a premium, more contemporary denim line.
Inside you’ll find Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor ruminating on how denim and music actually have a lot in common. There’s also a feature on art director Jean Paul Goude who oversaw many of Lee Cooper’s most iconic advertisements throughout the 1980s.
Nigel Cabourn, one of the brand’s exclusives collaborators also makes an appearance, chatting with the book’s Editorial Director, Dave Hellqvist from his Newcastle studio.
Where They Create: Japan
There are plenty of books that are considered “bibles” of a craft, and we’ve even covered a few. The latest, Where They Create: Japan is poised to be an authority on the country’s incredible creative scene. This particular volume is a follow-up of a 2011 edition of the same name. Unlike its forerunner, the new edition concentrates all of its attention on the beautiful island nation of Japan, and its many renowned talents.
The project is largely the brainchild of photographer Paul Barbera, whose successful blog, Where They Create, was the catalyst behind the launch of the book series. Journalist Kanae Hasegawa handles the written portion, flexing her background in design with thoughtfully written feature profiles.
A word of advice: you’ll want to take your time flipping through the 300-plus pages. There are 32 profiles featuring famous names ranging from Tadao Ando to a personal favorite, wonderfully quirky design studio, Nendo.
Man of the World
Man of the World‘s Fall 2016 issues opens with a letter from publisher, Alan Maleh. In it, Maleh considers an ancient Chinese curse that rather succinctly appraises our current reality: “May you live in interesting times,” he writes…Boy do we ever. Yet, in a roundabout way the issue reassures us that uncertainty, while uncomfortable, is in fact the grandmother of interest – whose daughter just so happens to perseverance.
The many colorful profiles prove this: cover star Alexander Skarsgard discusses how his faith in his own skill was pushed to the very edge before one phone call landed him the movie role that finally opened doors for him. Publisher Larry Flynt who founded iconic American men’s magazine Hustler, the first magazine to print explicit photos of vaginas (specifically the vulva), faced everything from censorship attempts to an unsuccessful run at public office.
Through it all, one cannot deny that life remained interesting for the many folks profiled.
Established in 2014 in Japan, Them Magazine aims to “inspire people with genuine style and philosophy.” The latest cover star, Playboi Carti, certainly fits the profile. The 20-year-old ASAP Worldwide signee and Awful Records affiliate has been cited as part of the new guard of turn-up rappers.
In the spread, the Atlanta native is photographed in high-designer duds ranging from Haider Ackerman to Givenchy and Versace. Yay, fashion.
- Photography: Thomas Welch / Highsnobiety.com