“It’s true that copying is somehow a taboo these days. It’s frowned upon in a time when it’s possible to pinpoint and share every source of reference and inspiration and being ‘original’ is praised as the only driving force for progress, when in fact it’s very rare that someone invents something “new”,” begins editor David Uzquiza on the theme for Buffalo Zine’s latest issue. “So we wanted to do an exercise in exorcising this demon, this obsession with originality. We wanted to explore the idea of deliberately copying things and, in doing so, vindicate the copy. Almost like saying ‘it’s ok, we all copy other stuff; it’s natural and there’s nothing wrong about it’.”
This conversation on originality has long been a subject of interest for Buffalo Zine and has been one of its foundations since the start. Known for adopting a new identity with each issue, fashion’s funniest magazine has since posed as a tabloid newspaper, a retro catalogue, an interior design publication, a holiday mag, and most recently, a cookbook. Shapeshifting between categories, Buffalo Zine stays true to the words of its tagline: “Serious fashion mags are over.”
But, its playful take on brand identity and publishing trends has never been more explicit than with this latest release. Taking the form of a different fashion magazine with each cover, Buffalo Zine will soon be masquerading on shelves as 032c, Arena Homme +, Dazed, The Gentlewoman, i-D, Fantastic Man, Purple, Double and Novembre. With the long-standing logo feature on the magazine’s website, which regularly swaps and changes to display the titles of other publications, it’s a move that has always felt just around the corner for the team.
“It’s been something organic that reflects our approach as editors,” says Adrián González-Cohen. “We always liked wearing the costumes of other magazines. Buffalo Zine is not just a format to talk about something; the format is somehow the subject.” David adds that stealing and borrowing those trademarks has been a source of “interest and excitement” for them, though they made sure to inform the targeted publications of their intentions. “We shared it with them before anybody else, a few days before launching, and they absolutely loved it,” explains Adrian. “However, we didn’t ask for permission initially because they’re all independent magazines and we intuitively knew that our peers would get it – we wouldn’t mess around with a Condé Nast logo in that way!”
Discussing the content inside this ninth issue, David says all the fashion stories are a copy of one story by photographer Lee Jenkins that was published in Vogue Italia in 1999: “We gave them the brief of copying that story and its most identifiable characteristics, but with the freedom of taking them to another context. The result is fascinating. And after all of this was done, we got in touch with Jenkins to see what his thoughts were.”
Other highlights include an extensive interview with the grandfather of dub, Lee “Scratch” Perry, a feature on Italian pornographic actor, director and producer, Rocco Siffredi, as well as conversations between Paul Simonon and Damon Albarn; Maurizio Cattelan and Babak Radboy; Carsten Höller and his twin brother Hans Ulrich Obrist; and Whit Stillman and cover girl Joan Juliet Buck.
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.