There are many, many independent magazines full of fashion photography out there, and few stand up as much more than a portfolio opportunity for the editors and contributors. Swarta, created in Stockholm by Stefan Hoglund and Jesper Ulvelius, is an exception, having been made by people who understand magazines.
The beautifully produced first issue has been available for several months now (issue two is already in production) but is still available from the website. It features 12 shoots by Swedish photographers who were asked to challenge what fashion imagery can be. The results are varied enough to make a compelling series.
The large format holds the images well, but I don't want to concentrate here on the pictures – buy a copy for them. It's the title pages, using computer generated ASCII-type versions of the opening images, that are particularly relevent here. They add a subtle but defining change of pace between the photographic stories, and give Swarta it's unique character.
I’m looking forward to issue two, though it’s dependent on the addition of advertising and improved distribution. So do your bit – get hold of a copy and help issue two come sooner.