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Leon’s Bookshelf

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Bookshelf: This week it’s Creative Director of Mr Porter, Leon St-Amour

Sometimes at It’s Nice That we like to dip our timid toes into the world of fashion, and what better way to do so than to approach a big dog at one of the best online fashion resources known to mankind? Leon St-Amour is the Creative Director of Mr Porter, the luxury menswear site that – much like us – likes to make people happy each and every day. Where we do it with featuring people’s work, Mr Porter do it with a very special knack for delivering their goods in the most luxurious and hand-clappingly exciting way possible, usually involving a very beautiful white shopping bag being hand-delivered to sartorially-minded folk all over the globe.

Sure, the clothes Mr Porter peddle are exquisitely designed – but would Mr Porter be as appealing without its entire aesthetic, tone and notoriety being as on-point as it is? I don’t think so. That’s why Leon is so important, and that’s why we asked him which books have inspired him over the years. Take it away, Leon.

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Graham Marsh and Glyn Callingham: The Cover Art of Blue Note Records 

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Graham Marsh and Glyn Callingham: The Cover Art of Blue Note Records 

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Graham Marsh and Glyn Callingham: The Cover Art of Blue Note Records 

Graham Marsh and Glyn Callingham: The Cover Art of Blue Note Records 

The early 1960’s is my favourite period for design. The Blue Note covers by American graphic designer Reid Miles epitomised the optimistic spirit of that period and still look really fresh today. I love the restricted colour palette, modern typography and bold and playful use of scale, I often use this book for inspiration.

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David Carson: Raygun, Out of Control

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David Carson: Raygun, Out of Control

David Carson: Raygun, Out of Control

When I was at school in the 1990’s David Carson was a bit of a rock star in the graphic design world, his punk attitude towards layout, type and photography broke all of the existing rules of magazine design. Despite barely being able to read the articles he designed for Raygun, I appreciated the mood they created and the confidence he portrayed as a designer.   

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Robert Lewis Stevenson: Treasure Island

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Robert Lewis Stevenson: Treasure Island

Robert Lewis Stevenson: Treasure Island

I could have picked one of many covers by book design titan David Pearson. This one was published on his own imprint Whites Books and features cover artwork by English artist Stanley Donwood of Radiohead fame. It’s an epic story which I think the cover manages to do justice.

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Juergen Teller

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Juergen Teller

Juergen Teller

I bought this book in the mid 90’s, long before I worked in the fashion industry, on the strength of its cover image, not knowing who Juergen Teller was at the time. It sparked my interest in the world’s of fashion and art photography, Teller has skilfully made the space between the two his own since then. 

5

Kevin Davies: Philip Treacy

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Kevin Davies: Philip Treacy

Kevin Davies: Philip Treacy

I love this book because it reminds me of my late friend Isabella Blow who I worked along side during my time on staff at Tatler magazine. Issy discovered the hat designer Philip Treacy, the pair had a very special creative relationship captured beautifully on the pages of this book by Kevin Davies.