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Buffalo Zine #9
Cover story

Buffalo Zine #9

A new issue of Buffalo Zine is always an exciting event; their shape-shifting magazine can always be trusted to tick multiple boxes, at once conceptually intriguing, clever, often funny and invariably skilfully executed and produced. But this ninth ‘Copy(right)’ issue stands out measured against even their high standards.

The set of ten covers have been on display in our front window display at the Shop this week. In case anybody’s missed them, each of the covers is based on another indie fashion magazine (above). Each logo is adapted to read Buffalo Zine, and the entire cover concept and design copied from the source publication (the idea is an extension of the magazine’s website, which has randomly appropriated other logos for some time).

When they shared the finished magazines with staff from the source titles, all were delighted, apparently; I can even imagine editors of other magazines envying those selected for parody.

The ten designs are really well handled and were enough to attract attention to the issue ahead of publication. But then the issue arrived, and the whole concept made even more sense. It is all about copies and copying, and examines the expectation of originality in fashion from many angles.

‘Copying is part of human nature,’ Editor-in-chief Adrian Gonzalez-Cohen explains in his opening letter, ‘We’re still not very comfortable with it, because we also want to be unique, special, true originals.’

There are many great stories behind the theme. A series of five fashion stories are based on a 1999 Vogue Italia shoot by Lee Jenkins, reproduced in full as pages from the original mag (above); the new images reveal how a single source can be taken in different directions, as well as highlighting the technical changes in fashion photography over the past 20 years. Jenkins, now retired from photography, is interviewed and describes the complex advance planning involved in his shoot – the contemporary updates rely more on manipulation than big production.

Elsewhere we meet a pair of twins and enjoy a fashion photograph-illustration hybrid by Sanda Anderlon that echoes Richard Hamilton’s ‘Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?’ artwork as it responds to a piece about cloning Dolly the sheep by including her in the collaged fashionscape. An interview with Carsten Holler and Hans Ulbricht Obrist, two people on a quest to mimic each other, is presented as a photocopy (below).

Oli Mould offers a take down of the way capitalism adopts all creativity for its own ends, alongside a truly terrifying set of fake fashion personages that are just cartoon-like enough, testing the edge where humour becomes vicious caricature.

The highlight for me – and what makes the issue special, a step above issue eight’s retro recipe book — is a series of interviews about copying with creative figures like editor Julius Wiedemann, creative director Richard Turley and tech guru Nicholas Negroponte. Each Q&A is acompanied by a screengrab of Google image search results for their name (above). The thought behind the written content justifies all the fun of the visual content here and throughout the entire issue.

In a neat turning over Gonzalez-Cohen’s intro, this issue of Buffalo Zine can be deemed a true original even as it revels in copies and copying, and makes a strong Magazine of the Week.

Publishers, editors, creative directors: Adrian Gonzalez-Cohen and David Uzquiza
Fashion director: Tati Cotliar
Features editor: Liam Hess

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