10 independent fashion magazines everyone should read
London Fashion Week starts today, so we’re taking the chance to shine a light on our favourite independent fashion magazines. We pulled together a similar roundup last year, and it remains one of the most read articles on the Stack blog, but this time we’re switching our focus to the titles that are disrupting style and fashion with inventive and refreshing perspectives. Scroll through our selection below to see for yourself…
1. Editorial Magazine
We were excited to send out this Montreal-based oddity on Sampler last month, because we love its strange and inventive view of the world. Pairing young talents like Sophie Andes Gascon and Marie Yat with longstanding cult labels like Maison Margiela and Calvin Klein, their fashion stories are always surprising, and look like a lot of fun to produce. They also source from iconic vintage stores like NYC’s Screaming Mimis and Cherry Vintage, shifting the focus away from those big labels.
Started as the graduation project of a Central Saint Martins student, Marfa Journal’s hardback magazine can now be found in bookstores all over the world. The name was inspired by a trip to Marfa, Texas, when founder Alexandra Gordienko embarked on a road trip with her friend to the desert hub of contemporary art. As she tells Dazed, the magazine became a way for them to befriend people they’ve stalked for years — the result completely embodies this daring, exciting energy.
3. Toilet Paper
The bi-annual synonymous with imaginative, surrealist editorial is now in its 14th issue. Founded by Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, Toilet Paper takes very ordinary objects (and often parts of an object, like a single finger or a bulging eye) and appropriates them into their weird, fantastical world. Provocative, satirical and incredibly funny, it has proved itself, time and time again, as the leading publication in innovative editorial perspectives.
4. Recens Paper
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, 15-year-old Elise By Olsen started Recens Paper with the aim to provide her peers with an antidote to the oppressive perfectionism in mainstream media. The Oslo-based publication is a youth culture magazine for readers who are part of a generation that “will not be limited to gender binaries or accept the obligations of commercialism.” In Latin, Recens means ‘new thinking’ and ‘young’, and you can expect nothing less than invigorating from this publication.
5. Mushpit magazine
Mushpit has become renowned for its sharp, satirical wit, and that’s as important in their fashion shoots as it is in their editorials lambasting payday loans, imploding politics and exorbitant rents. From wardrobe webcam photoshoots (below, titled ‘Trapped in the Closet’ after the R. Kelly hip-hop musical) to expensive handbags shot in bathrooms then adorned with Comic Sans, it injects some humour into an often overly serious industry.
6. Cactus magazine
This is a Milan-based magazine showcasing the most exciting photographers, stylists and designers. Each issue weighs close to a kilo, and the pages are packed with visionary editorial narratives that don’t shy away from the weird, the obscure and the surreal. We love this shoot below by Christto & Andrew, aptly featuring the label Kenzo, whose iconic ‘eye’ and ‘hand’ designs drip with absurd surrealism.
7. Polyester magazine
Polyester is a feminist fashion and culture publication aiming to “bridge the gap of URL cyberfeminism with the IRL world.” Editor-in-chief Ione Gamble started the magazine as a response to the frustration she felt with the representation of fourth wave feminism and favouritism towards minimalism in the mainstream. You’ll fall in love with their extravagant, excessive and absolutely fabulous fashion narratives.
8. Pylot magazine
We sent this magazine out to Stack subscribers in April last year. Showcasing the best of analogue fashion photography, it has a strict no beauty-retouching policy. The magazine also promises not to show material that can be seen elsewhere, so be prepared to have your eyes peeled wide open and immerse yourself in their exciting approach to fashion.
9. Bite Me magazine
This Hong Kong-based, tongue-in-cheek title wants to upend readers of regular fashion magazines (in the friendliest, funniest way, of course). Featuring interviews and stories with iconic designers like Gasius, Perks and Mini, and Rick Owens (and his wife and muse Michèle Lamy), their issues are themed around body parts — we’ve seen the bum, the hair, the mouth and the hand… what will be next?
Œ magazine was included in last year’s fashion magazines roundup, and we want to mention them again. As a platform for the fashion talent coming out of Germany, and in particular, Berlin, it’s bold and experimental, and refrains from describing trends to focus on showing individual talent instead. Like all the magazines above, you really have to hold it in your hands to appreciate the thought and beauty that goes into it.
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