There are a handful of magazine stores in New York that stock essentially every fashion publication an industry insider would even consider leafing through. Around the World across from Bryant Park is probably the best, but I have a soft spot for Universal News Cafe at 23rd between 5th and 6th in Chelsea and Casa Magazines at 8th Ave and W 12th St in the West Village. Most of the non-Hearst or non-Condé Nast magazines seem to priced somewhere between $15 and $35, which is troubling for anyone who can't expense it on their company card.
As a cash-strapped fashion intern, hungry for a fresh point of view but without the means to fund an addiction, I discovered Bon. Originally a quarterly Swedish publication, as far as I can tell, it is also published as a biannual International edition in English, for Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The most attractive quality to me at the time (besides the beautiful paper quality and clean cover layout with gold foil printing) was the low, low price of $8.99. Magazines are terrific, because no matter where you buy them, from Duane Reade to the airport, the price is never marked up.
What's inside? This season there's a thoughtful interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, explaining their obsession with shopping malls growing up. There's an investigation of fashion's love of David Lynch, his moody eeriness a seemingly perfect fit for many designers, some younger than his movies. The interview was an especially good read after watching his role in the late-night talk show wars three-episode arc on "Louie."
The best part of every issue is The Style Council, a roundtable discussion with noted fashion journalists and industry insiders with a far more intelligent hunch than anything you'll read in a mainstream fashion magazine. Vanessa Friedman, Bonnie Morrison, Amy Odell, and Sara Ziff answered questions from Bon's Editor-at-Large Madelaine Levy about the worrying state of the New York collections (they lack originality and knock off Balenciaga), the stubbornness with which the industry avoids improving work conditions for models, and the tricky relationship between IPOs, luxury, and creativity. My favorite excerpt:
Madelaine: Where do you see written fashion journalism going?
Amy: I know where I would like to see it go. I love a good fashion review; I'd just love to see more honesty and transparency. Reviewing a fashion show is not like reviewing a restaurant. You can't always say what you really think. Many people can't review honestly because of the advertisers.
Painfully true. Go and get your copy now! The damn magazine store always sells out before I remember to go in!
Check out Bon's website at http://bon.se/