Fantastic Man - now available in book format!
Learn how a Dutch duo ditched catwalk models and embraced real manhood in the book of the magazine
A little over ten years ago the Dutch graphic designer Jop van Bennekom and the journalist and editor Gert Jonkers decided there was a problem with men's magazines. As their friend the photographer Inez Van Lamsweerde recalls in the introduction to our new book Fantastic Man: Men of Great Style and Substance, “they were searching for something that wasn’t already there – defining a gap and working out how to fill it.”
For Jop and Gert, men's magazines felt both anodyne and exclusive; they were filled with the same product and aspirations, the same commercial, airless prose, and more or the less the same pictures of twenty-year-old ectomorphs in $2000 plus outfits. The duo, who both worked in magazines, had little interest in dressing like gamin catwalk models or acting like adolescent pop stars.
“We went to war, armed with the idea that we didn’t want any more objectified boys in high fashion any more,” says Jop, “We wanted real men in real clothes.”
The spoils of that ten-year battle have now been collected together in Fantastic Man: Men of Great Style and Substance, a compendium of highlights from the best men's fashion and style magazine published today
Fantastic Man combines a spare, sophisticated graphic treatment with a near-baroque editorial voice, and has won over not only powerful figures within the fashion industry, but intelligent and elegant readers across the English-speaking world, who take delight in the magazine's long profiles and frank photography.
The book, which is being published to coincide with the magazine's tenth anniversary, collects together 69 of Fantastic Man's best interviews and photo shoots, alongside other examples of its beautiful graphic ephemera.
Within these pages you can learn more about designer Thom Browne's jeans problem, St.John founder Fergus Henderson's brain operation, designer Raf Simons' art collection, Ai Weiwei's daily routine and Bret Easton Ellis's heartfelt love of Gordon Ramsay, as well as why Rem Koolhaas thinks all cars are hideous, how Jeremy Deller got to hang out with Andy Warhol, and why Tom Ford will not retire, he says, “until I literally drop dead.”
The title features photography by Juergen Teller, Alasdair McLellan and Inez & Vinoodh, and contributions by in demand fashion writers Alex Needham, Charlie Porter and Paul Flynn. Yet it isn't elitist or unattainable; Spike Jonze might be among be among the most successful directors of his generation, yet the crumpled sweatshirt he wears in his photographs is the kind of thing anyone can pull out of their wardrobe.
The book compliments such insightful sartorial titles as Colin McDowell's Anatomy of Fashion; The Fashion Book, Pattern, and our forthcoming Grace Coddington title; it is in keeping with our Fruits series, which reproduced the outlandish street-style photography first published in the Tokyo magazine of the same name; anyone familiar with George Lois's golden era of ad copy, meanwhile, will delight in Fantastic Man's prose style; while readers who enjoyed Hans Eijkelboom's People of the 21st Century will revel in Fantastic Man's distinctly Dutch take on contemporary mores.
This hard-backed, 288 page book features the same distinctive design standards readers of the magazine have come to love. Meticulously reproduced and presented, Fantastic Man is a joy for all, regardless of body type or wardrobe. Pre-order a copy here and check back soon for more on this great book.