Fresh Off The Press: The Best New Indie Magazines Around Right Now

You don’t have to be ballsy to launch a print magazine in the digital age — you have to be a little deranged. Someone who looks at the move from high GSM paper to high rates of click-throughs and says, “screw that” — let’s just do it anyway.

And while it takes a certain type of person who’ll shut down their popular blog to launch a quarterly print zine, or attempt to fuse the equally dichotomous worlds of porn and typography, the craving for tangible goods is universal. So let’s hear it for the ballsy, slightly crazy, and really very clever people below who have given us 12 more reasons to believe there’s still life outside of Drake Hands and Nyan Cats.

 

1. [wherever]

An “out of place” journal, but one that definitely has a home on our bookshelves. [wherever] is dedicated to travel literature, travel culture and travel politics, a mix of serious and lighthearted accounts of the life nomadic. Issue One (which is actually the magazine’s second issue) takes a trip through the culinary scene of Rome, writes a love letter to Istanbul, reflects on a “smileless” time in New York City, and considers footwear’s disjunctive relationship to place and movement. $15 an issue or $40 for an annual subscription of three issues.

 

2. System

London’s System was the magazine on everyone’s lips earlier this year, when it bagged, for its inaugural issue, an interview with none other than Nicolas Ghesquière in his first sit-down feature since leaving Balenciaga. But while it might be pissing off the executive floor of Condé Nast (who were apparently not happy with W fashion editor and Ghesquière’s friend, Marie-Amélie Sauvé, for getting involved in the new venture) we’re taking this as testimony to its juiciness. Though System is far from a gossip rag. T‘s Eric Wilson describes it as “a deep-thoughts magazine about the fashion industry,” after chatting with the glossy’s all-star masthead. At present that includes Alexia Niedzielski and Elizabeth von Guttman, who together launched Industrie and Ever Manifesto, former Numéro editor Jonathan Wingfield, and Paradis art director Thomas Lenthal. See website for stockists.

 

3. TWELV

You might know NYC’s TWELV for the launch parties they throw each issue, but the content is just as wild. A refined mash-up of fashion, art, music and charity (not a typo — 12% of magazine and web sales go to charities such as the World Food Program USA (WFP USA), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and United Nations Development Programme. Their website is also a great place to spend time and meet interesting new people as you wait for your next print copy. $12 an issue or $30 (including shipping) for an annual subscription of two issues.

 

4. Cherry Bombe

We stole this from our friends at The Braiser and really don’t want to give it back. Cherry Bombe is a beautiful biannual magazine about women and food, launched by two women with serious fashion credentials. Publicist-turned-restaurateur Kerry Diamond is a former beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar, while another Bazaar alum, graphic designer Claudia Wu, launched her own design firm, Orphan, as well as indie mag Me. Contributors have included Karlie Kloss, Alice Waters, Sophia Coppola and DJ-turned-pastry chef Justine Delaney$18 and issue or $40 (including shipping) for an annual subscription of two issues.

 

5. Junk

This fashion, art and photography magazine should be required reading for any Los Angeles naysayers. Launched by Australia’s Imogen Barron, a former stylist for Oyster, Yen and Dazed & Confused, and New Zealand’s Lucy Rose, it’s an endless summer of musics and photo spreads from the side of the city you don’t normally see on newsstands. $18 an issue.

 

6. Adult

It’s an erotic magazine, but not like you’ve ever seen it. Adult is a quarterly journal that artfully fuses porn and high culture, weaving in publishing art, photography, essays and “dick lit” about sex, contemporary erotics and ‘”experience” — an innocent subheading bringing you everything form interviews to omelette recipes. All that physical stuff can make you hungry. $20 an issue or $40 for an annual subscription of four issues.

 

7. Vandals

Developed in Paris, produced in New York and designed in Barcelona, Vandals offers not just an alternative perspective but something far rarer in today’s age of click-throughs and ad revenue. It’s ad-free, content-only and straight to the point, offering piercing photographs and long-form essays that are lurid, emotional, and darkly humorous. Consequently, tt doesn’t come with a throwaway price tag, but it’s not a glossy you’ll be letting gather dust. $62 an issue.

 

8. Gratuitous Type

The erotic journal for typography geeks. Gratuitous Type focuses its dirty mind on typography, art, language and publishing, and its lens on the practices of our favorite letter-makers. $18 an issue.

 

9. Apology

Things that are ’80s. Half-hearted regrets from the Deth Killers of Bushwick. A fictional conversation between an author’s dog and a puppet named Oscar. Ex-Vice editor Jesse Pearson mixes the highbrow with the smutty with the straight-up wack, and his new quarterly is impossible to put down until you’ve traversed the whole spectrum. $18 an issue or $48 for an annual subscription of four issues.

 

10. SUPERIOR

High-quality photography and avant-garde visual expression, minus any connotations of pretension that go along with those things. Berlin’s SUPERIOR magazine champions the newcomers and the vanguards along with the industry’s established artists, enriched with background interviews and reports from the front lines of fashion weeks in Tokyo and Berlin. The print magazine is complemented by digital content like videos, additional photo-series and text, which is conveniently linked to the respective print content via QR-Codes and will be permanently updated. Also, GIFs! $12 an issue or $20 for a subscription of two issues

 

11. So It Goes

So It Goes magazine, a self-described “global meeting place for creatives,” launches in the US this month. And we’re already making room in the budget thanks to this spread of coat porn shot by Helena Christensen and starring actress/writer/fantasy-BFF Greta Gerwig. Also featured in the current issue, the bi-annual publication’s second, are Adam Driver, Gilles Peterson and Clara Paget, further evidencing their knack for tapping up-and-coming artists who aren’t just pretty faces. $25 an issue or $46 for an annual subscription of two issues

 

12. SRC783

If you don’t know Sydney-based model Christina Dietze by name, you might have heard of her fashion blog SRC783. The blog has now been laid to rest, with Dietze subverting the print-to-digital trend by launching a quarterly fashion journal in its place. Helmed by Dietze and fellow Sydney artist Nick Thomm, SRC783 offers the inspirational-over-aspirational feel of a blog, with the tangible beauty of a glossy. The second issue is out now, featuring Bambi Northwood-Blyth, GrimesCharlotte FreeRachel Rutt and Anja Konstantinova. If you’ve got a thing for buzzy, just-under-the-rader models in blue lipstick and space boots, this is your new bible. $15 an issue.

 

Related links:

The Best and Worst Magazine Covers of 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: The Wanderlust

Greta Gerwig Goes Euro Chic For So It Goes Magazine

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