Take a tour of our fashion mag book author's NYC apartment
'Magazines come in waves, washing up as stacks around my apartment,' writes Vince Aletti in our new book
“For some time now, I’ve measured the years by September issues,” writes the author, photo critic and collector Vince Aletti in the introduction to his new book Issues. “The fat, cheery fashion magazines that start arriving in August mark the turn of the seasons more reliably than any weather report.”
Those of us who don’t check the news stand to tell the time of year, can still enjoy Aletti’s lifelong devotion to the style press. His book is subtitled A History of Photography in Fashion Magazines, and offers an unrivalled overview of fashion photography in print, from pre-war copies of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, right through to latterday editions of i-D, Arena Homme +, and Fantastic Man. Pleasingly, he reveals a particular fondness for one of the magazines Phaidon.com used to work for, The Face.
Issues is informed and inspired by Aletti’s own, personal archive, which the septuagenarian collector has been amassing since his childhood. Anyone curious to know just how Aletti manages to fit so huge a treasure trove into a modest (though undoubtedly capacious!) Manhattan apartment should take a look at these images, shot by the New York photographer Jason Schmidt, for the New York fashion magazine, Document Journal.
Aletti moved into his East Village rent-stabilized home in 1976 - “Before this I lived two blocks away, on Avenue A and 12th Street,” he explains – and has packed in his precious publications alongside original prints by photographers such as Peter Hujar and Gary Schneider, 1960s homoerotic physique photos by Bob Mizer, as well as novels, photobooks and fine art.
His record collection has already gone to the Musuem of Pop Culture in Seattle, but the magazines have stayed. Some, such as his copies of American Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar, are organized chronologically. Other are filed in a less orderly manner. “Magazines come in waves, washing up as stacks around my apartment,” he writes in Issues, “a year in pictures, a decade in print, a lifetime of images, both fleeting and indelible.”
To get a big slice of that life, that will still fit easily onto your shelves, buy a copy of Issues here.