From the age of eight, buying a new magazine was the highlight of my week and I still love the thrill of opening a brand new mag to see what undiscovered pleasures await. But these days, after I have waded through the pile of unwanted inserts and pages and pages of advertising (I counted 40 pages in one of my favourite magazines recently) I find less and less I haven’t already read online.
I want to be surprised and inspired when I read a magazine. I want interesting, well researched features, beautiful editorials featuring stunning interiors and fashion that I can almost afford and potentially wear – but that doesn’t mean I want high street clothes on real women – above all I want my magazines to be aspirational and offer me an insight into a life I’d like to have, rather than the one I actually have. Complicated – yes – but I’ve been a magazine junkie for long enough to know what I want and what I don’t.
As we get older there are less and less magazines that appeal to us, usually because mainstream magazines have started to feel formulaic and predictable. They also tend to appeal to a target age group (usually young) and that in itself is very dated. I increasingly find myself being drawn to magazines that are less about a particular subject and more about an aesthetic and lifestyle – however old you are.
Some friends bought me a subscription to Stack at the beginning of the year and I can highly recommend it for a refreshing way to enjoy magazines. The service brings together the best independent English language magazines from around the world and sends you a different one every month. Usually well designed and intelligent, they offer alternative view of films, music, art and many other subjects you may not necessarily usually choose to read about. Every delivery is a surprise – some better than others, but there is always someone in my house who is interested. They are continually adding new titles and they have an interesting blog.
Other independent magazines I am currently loving are Anthology and Kinfolk. Both are American and offer a great cross section of inspiring interiors, food and craft features as well as a contemporary, relevant online presence.
Anthology is created by Anh–Minh Le and Meg Mateo Ilasco, two San Francisco based writers, who launched the blog and magazine after lamenting the demise of some of their favourite publications. Each issue is centered around a theme and packed with interesting features and lovely photography. A reader-supported publication, they carry a limited number of ads, so there’s lots of great content. The latest issue concentrates on the influence music has on our lives.
Kinfolk is based around a shared aesthetic and love of casual gatherings. Written by a growing community of artists from around the world, who love unpretentious art and design, simple, stylish interiors and natural uncomplicated entertaining. Kinfolk makes you want to live in the woods, grown your own vegetables, cook them over an open fire, while wearing a linen smock and drinking artisan coffee, with your bearded, artist partner.
Check out their Pinterest page.
Anthology and Kinfolk are aspirational in the very best way, as they are about a shared aesthetic, irrespective of age, location or budget. They are well worth a look, you can subscribe online or buy them from Anthropologie, who stock some great independent magazines and books.