• Esmain
The List

David Mckendrick on his favourite covers as he bows out from Esquire

Posted by Rob Alderson,

After seven years as Creative Director of British Esquire, David Mckendrick is off to set up a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher. As his final issue hits the newsstands, David reflected on his time at one of the UK’s leading magazines and picked out a selection of his favourite covers…

“Summing up my time at Esquire is easy. It’s the best job in the world. Also, let’s be honest, it’s not a real job. I work with some of the most talented, designers, writers, stylists, photographers and illustrators in the business.

“My most challenging moments have been art-directing cover shoots. There is no training at art school that prepares you for a cover shoot with a celebrity. It is more like a hostage situation than a photo shoot; not only trying to control an A-list celebrity but the hordes of people that suddenly turn up and have an opinion (LA celebrity hair stylists are the worst, by the way).”

  • Main

    David Mckendrick and Robert Pattinson. Casual.

“I found that my only way to survive was to look like I knew what I was talking about. And at first, I’ll be honest, I really didn’t have a clue. I think I got there in the end (after a few years), and went out with a bang with the Robert Pattinson issue (September 2014). That was a personal triumph. Bringing together the right team, location, styling, etc. is a bit of an invisible art, but it’s the most satisfying feeling when you see the results. Although, when I hinted that he was on the telly, he did take offence. Apparently he’s in the movies. Oops. I should really do my research on popular culture!

“Oh and the only rule is that if you ever meet someone famous, get a thumbs-up pic for your mum. It makes her proud.”

May 2008 — Keith Richards

  • Esq_keithrichards

It wasn’t easy explaining to Keith Richards that I wanted him to stub out his ciggy to make the graphic dot on the Esquire logo. But we got there in the end. When he eventually turned up five hours late – hammered – I thought I had nothing to lose. I would have been disappointed with any other behaviour.

March 2009 — Morph

  • Esq_morph

A personal triumph getting my childhood icon, Morph, who has been naked all his life, in head-to-toe Burberry Prorsum for the cover. He was so cool he knocked Sean Penn off the subscribers’ cover. Now that was a result.

January 2011 — Jeff Bridges

  • Esq_jeffbridges

It’s one thing getting a cover star to stand still and get his picture taken, but it’s another getting him to hand draw the cover lines and render the logo. Now that is what I call DUDE.

November 2012 — Cameron Diaz

  • Esq_caemrondiaz

I probably don’t need to explain why this is a one of my faves. But as a scruffy Clydebank boy who watched Something About Mary eight times, getting to spend a day with Cameron Diaz as she slipped in and out of outfits and tried repeatedly (and failed) to do my accent, was a dream come true. She is exactly everything you imagine, and more.

May 2014 — Arctic Monkeys

  • Esq_alexturner

One of my favourite bands, they were normal lads who were like a small gang. When they turned up half an hour late with massive hangovers, they just got on with it, took every bit of direction and did everything I asked. And we finished early. Now that is professional (and a wee bit rock and roll).

September 2014 — Robert Pattinson

  • Esq_robertpattinson

Now, seven years later, I’m finally getting the swing of cover shoots and I feel really proud of my last one – the talent, the location, the photographer, the clothes, the sunshine. It was just a perfect way to sign-off and a day I’ll never to forget. It did make me think “Why the fuck am I leaving?”

The Big Black Book – April 2013

  • Esq_thebigblackbook

Not to forget The Big Black Book, launched last year. A type-only cover in this day and age? No idea how the hell I got away with that.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: The List View Archive

  1. _list-rlr50_cover_subs

    Cycling magazine Rouleur has always been about much more than spokes and lycra. The publication – which in 2012 released previously unseen photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson – boasts a considered design aesthetic and stunning imagery, and is now celebrating the launch of its 50th issue with a cover designed by Sir Paul Smith. To mark this milestone, Rouleur’s assistant editor Andy McGrath talks us through some of his favourite cover images and the stories behind them.

  2. List

    Most of merely dabble in the world of fashion and recycle what little knowledge we have by saying phrases like “yah that’s so hot right now.” But recycle no more as SHOWstudio will be your fashion education forevermore.

  3. List

    Earlier this week we mined our collective knowledge to see what advice we could offer those starting out at art school this autumn. Then we realised why stop there – what about all the amazing creatives we know and love around the world; what advice would they give those embarking on this exciting, and sometimes scary new chapter? So over the next few weeks we’re going to hear from a whole host of them, starting today with Jon Burgerman, Stefan Sagmeister, Carol Morley and Johnny Kelly…

  4. Main1

    There’s a reason why girls like me used to babysit, and it sure wasn’t for the £2-per-hour wage and free Cheese strings. SNOOPING, dear friends, is one of the most seductively naughty and curious pastimes of the world. Walking past a home with all the lights on at night gives me the same sensation as finding a fiver on the floor and here’s why – how others decorate and personalise their places of dwelling is infinitely interesting, and the chance to cast your own judgment on their choices is addictive.

  5. Main

    It may surprise you to find out that the It’s Nice That Bookshelf feature has been going strong since 8 January 2011. Yep, it’s old, and like a grumpy old uncle it’s rarely actually been celebrated. The weekly sneaky peek into the bookshelves of the creative and famous (sing to tune of Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous by Good Charlotte) is a long-term favourite of many an It’s Nice That reader, and we decided to do a few posts to celebrate some gems within it.

  6. List

    This week marks the halfway point of Fashion Month, AKA the queen of all trade shows, with Spring Summer 2015 collections being shown in New York, London, Milan and Paris respectively from mid-September to mid-October. Exciting though it is, rummaging through the masses of fashion coverage the internet has to offer can sometimes feel like drowning in an ocean of show reports and final walks, so here’s our rundown of the five best alternative places to see the best of the collections this season.

  7. List

    Just before Christmas I like to go through the bumper two week issue of The Radio Times and circle (neatly!) the things I wish to watch over the festive period. This annual ritual engenders mixed feelings; excitement and anticipation on the one hand and an almost palpable anxiety of deciding what, unavoidably, I am going to have to miss. I have a similar feeling as London Design Festival rolls around every autumn. There is so much going on that it’s very easy to spread yourself too thinly, so with that in mind here’s ten things I am looking forward to at this year’s LDF. I make no apologies for including some pretty obvious selections, as well as hopefully a couple of more individual choices.

  8. List

    Last night Apple launched the iPhone 6, the iWatch and Apple Pay amid more fawning than a Tumnus family gathering. We may have reached peak mania around Apple’s launches, but then I’m sure I thought that last time. Because of the tech giant’s insane success, many have studied the (winning) formula by which Apple seem to conduct their public pronouncements, and this in turn has led to many spoofs skewering the Apple approach. IKEA were the latest to produce a spoof Appple ad – coincidentally released just days before yesterday’s press conference – but as you’ll see below they certainly weren’t the first to go down that route. My money’s on them not being the last either…

  9. Gwmain

    For me the commissioning, content and tone of The Gentlewoman are absolutely unparalleled in the magazine industry, and it gives me nothing but sheer joy to open a copy and have it satisfyingly flop on to the table to devour. Here at It’s Nice That we look forward to seeing the new cover and the choice of woman featured on it more than any other publication. The new cover of the bi-annual must-have magazine is out, and this time the star is Swedish electronic music artist, Robyn.

  10. List

    The death of legendary designer Deborah Sussman earlier this week has been keenly felt by the creative community at large. For someone who’d reached the very respectable age of 83, she was still ever-present in the public consciousness both for her continued influence over the visual landscape of Los Angeles and her seemingly boundless energy. She’d recently been the subject of a Kickstarter-funded retrospective at Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery – proof if any were needed that she still had the ability to excite an audience – and as a result has been the subject of numerous magazine editorials over the past nine months.

  11. List

    Desert Island Discs is a British institution. First broadcast in 1942, the premise is super simple – if marooned on a desert island which songs would you take with you (as well as a book and a luxury item). Of course the show is about much, much more than music and thanks to the incredible guests the show attracts (being invited on DID is a real cultural badge of honour) and the skills of the interviewers, each show becomes a fascinating insight into some of the most interesting minds around. You can (and really should) spend some time exploring the incredible archive but here we’ve picked out a few shows featuring castaways from the art and design world that we recommend.

  12. List

    After seven years as Creative Director of British Esquire, David Mckendrick is off to set up a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher. As his final issue hits the newsstands, David reflected on his time at one of the UK’s leading magazines and picked out a selection of his favourite covers…

  13. Main

    Quite a few of us joined It’s Nice That in the summer many moons ago and so the sunny months are awash with opportunities for reflection and reminiscence. With that in mind we’ve asked four of our writers to take us back to the first post they ever wrote for the site and find out a bit more about the article that launched their careers here. And just in case you were wondering; here’s the first ever post on the site.