5 Underground Zines That Deserve Your Attention
If you were walking around SoHo yesterday, wondering what that random line on Centre Street was all about, we have your answer. And yes, your FOMO is justified. Virgil Abloh, Kanye West’s creative director and the founder and designer of clothing label Off-White, released his new zine, and the only way to get your hands on it was through the ATM machine at Tom Sach’s bodega. Once customers pressed “print receipt,” out came Abloh’s recepit-cum-zine, ATM MAG Issue #5. Cue Azealia Banks’ “ATM Jam.”
Zines have undergone a major revival in recent years, especially in the cultural centers of Brooklyn and London. The independent, often nonprofit books, papers, and digital mags have become a form of creative independence for hundreds of artists and photographers. Without an overriding publishing house to please, zines can be, say, and mean absolutely everything and anything, and that is what makes them the best passion project. We rounded up five of the most creative and intriguing zines that you need to obtain right now. You can thank us later.
GIRLZ explores Los Angeles women of all levels of fame and notoriety in their natural habitats: clubs, house parties, and sun-soaked streets. Every “It” girl from Bad Gal Riri and Paris Hilton, to Chanel West Coast is featured in this zine, and none of it was planned. Unlike his previous zine HIGH, in which he casted young guys and photographed them in their stoned state of minds, founder (and Milk favorite) Carlos Santolalla took candid photos of “friends and friends of friends” for a more organic project. GIRLZ shows our favorite women in a raw and unfiltered light, and it is utterly fascinating.
As one of the newest and most notable zines on the scene, FFF (Food for Fashion) combines every person’s two favorite things—food and fashion—in the most unpretentious and unabashed way possible. Creative directors Zac Bayly and Stacia Hadiutomo hold nothing back when it comes to design and color. Nor do they fuck with Instagram-perfect meals. Instead, they prefer to get messy and raw with their photos, which makes their zine all the more intriguing. The first issue alone features contributions from Charli XCX, Maisie Williams, and Twiggy.
No, your eyes did not deceive you. Cuntry Living is the product of female Oxford University students who are sick of white cis-male dominance and want to make their mark on the world. The name is a wordplay on the magazine Country Living, which they basically view as boring white feminism. The goal is to reclaim and empower the word “cunt.” The series of zines celebrate all “cunts” who proudly declare themselves a feminist, and promise to fight for all minority genders and sexualities. Each issue promotes these causes with ultra-feminine and aesthetically perfect pop culture collages.
As far as we know, this zine has nothing to do with the Halsey album, but it is still awesome on its own merits. Chloe Lamb, Jade Lamb, and Lilli-Rose Bailey created Badlands 777 to celebrate women in all of their fabulous glory. Their issues are filled with shoots of gorgeous women wearing empowering and cutting-edge clothing. A brash and bold tribute to femininity.
Yeezy Season 2
We cannot forget about this. Following Kanye West’s first zine to accompany Yeezy Season 1, West himself tweeted a sneak peek of his Season 2 zine yesterday, and it looks just as spectacular as the first. He also added a stern lesson on how to pronounce “zine,” which he says is “pronounced Zeen.” And as we all know, what Yeezus says goes. The Season 1 zine showcased his Adidas collection alongside nude bodies presented in a stark and artistic light. And judging by the cover, Season 2’s zine will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps (to be clear, as far as we can tell this deal’s with Yeezy Season 2, not the forthcoming Season 3). Since his first zine was released around this time last year, we should probably expect his new one at any moment. Until then, we’ll remain perched on Yeezus’ Twitter account.
Season 2 Zine pronounced Zeen short for magazine. A lot of people pronounce it wrong. pic.twitter.com/jnmLFV3wZN
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 8, 2016
Images via GIRLZ, FFF, Cuntry Living, and Badlands 777.
Stay tuned to Milk for more mean zines.