Coffee Chat with Steven Vogel – Contemporary Menswear : A Global Guide to Independent Men’s Fashion

It was way back in 2007 when I first got my hand on Steven Vogel’s book STREETWEAR.  It served as an essential chronicle of what we called the STREETWEAR culture back then, even though that label itself had since through the years been debated and defined to death – and along the way become another jargon in the ever shifting “industry”.

Fast forward to seven years later, I was quite surprise to see another book from our old pal that seem to define another “era” of what the male species put on themselves. I have always been a great fan of Steven’s writing, his views and opinions pieces and this new offering stirred my curiosity.

“An essential reference to more than 50 international designers, brands, stores, blogs and websites that have shaped independent men’s fashion over the last decade and will define its trends in the years ahead.”

Some of you may have already gotten your hand on it as the book was launched in October. As always, we took the chance to have a nice little chat with the Grandmaster of Black Lodges and try to pick his mind.

What got all of you started on this book? After-beer inspiration or a desert meeting that got the dust rolling?

I wish it was something as good as that. In reality, this book is a result of many discussions between Andrew Sanigar, my Commissioning Editor at Thames & Hudson and myself. We had been talking for some years about writing a second book for them and this is now the result of it.

How long did it take to finish the book? Are there things that you took out or wish you would have included after its published? What’s the “selection criteria” for those who are featured in the book ?

All in all it took about 18 months. With any book you are always limited by how many pages the book can and will have. That certainly has a role in it. Initially though, Nick, Calum and I decided what and who should be in the book irrespective of page count and then we tried to work around that. In regards to the selection criteria, we wanted to to encompass all the different niches within Contemporary Menswear and select the best possible representation of it.


How would you define Contemporary Menswear in your own terms for the lost souls or those who think otherwise?

As always, I shy away from definitions, they are too definite in a constantly shifting world. For arguments sake though, we wanted to highlight and portray those brands we felt were the most genuine & innovative in their respective fields within the realm of modern independent mens fashion.

How many fist fights you guys get into while putting this together ? 

None, luckily. Nick, Calum and I have worked together on a number of ventures in the past and we work well together as a team.

Why should people buy this book instead of the Bible? 

Apart from all the great visuals in the book, what I am really happy about is the vast amount of original content and writing in it. There is a lot of in-depth thought, analysis and criticism in the book and it certainly isn’t a puff piece to get free clothes from people. Nick, Calum and I managed to be as objective as we can be about the subject matter and together with all the contributors put together a solid piece of analysis.

As mentioned on the Thames & Hudson page, the book is “a must have ‘look book’ for all fashion designers, stylists, writers and students.”

Get yours today at the usual and enjoy this new chronicle.