The Best Indie Men's Magazines

FreshDracula

The editors of three independent men's magazines bring their own sartorial lives to their pages.

One might assume a category such as “independent men’s fashion magazines” would be long extinct, killed off by digital poachers and their adrevenue-stealing tactics. Wrong. Indie guys’ style mags, as they are commonly known, are thriving, having transformed into collectible tomes. They’re the de facto coffee-table books of the seasonal fashion circuit. At last count there were ten of them, with a deep stack of tastes available. Take Fantastic Man, the Amsterdam-based biannual magazine that appeals to culture cognoscenti with smart, quippy copy and clean layouts. Founded by Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers in 2005, and now with a circulation of 87,000, Fantastic Man is published for readers. “There’s a focus on relatively long texts,” says Jonkers. “And our criteria stem from our own fascinations. We love subjects who have something personal to say, instead of just your typical celebrity interviews” (fantasticman.com). New York’s Man of the World (circulation 30,000), a quarterly, echoes Fantastic Man’s taste for the good and engaging life, though with a more athletic bloodline. Editor in chief and creative director Christopher Tennant says, “Men are simple creatures. Our readers are interested in style but are too busy climbing mountains and racing cars and writing books to keep tabs on the latest jacket trends” (manoftheworld.com). Ashley Heath’s biannual Arena Homme +, based in London, offers a street-savvier take on men’s style. Its editorials are at once more artsy and rough around the edges. (It was born from the now-defunct, broader men’s magazine Arena.) “We believe men’s fashion is a serious, tricky, mercurial business,” Heath says, adding that he wants to give that business a healthy place to shine. Mission accomplished. His last issue printed more than 90,000 copies and had more than 600 pages (no website).