Sunday, April 8, 2012
What We're Ogling: The Return of Last Magazine (Issue 01)
From 2004 to 2009, Last Magazine was far and away the best magazine in the world for fans of high end men's shoes. During that time, Esquire Japan published about twelve issues which are now extremely hard to find and highly sought after by shoe connoisseurs around the world. Unfortunately, despite the magazine's cult status, Esquire Japan ceased publication of the magazine - presumably as a result of the global economic downturn which followed the financial crisis of 2008.
So imagine how surprised I was to discover that Last Magazine is back, now published by Simsum Media. It appears that this first issue hit the newsstands at the tail end of 2011, and while my Japanese is a bit rusty, it would appear that the second issue was due out in March 2012 (I'll need to drop into Kinokuniya to see if I can order it).
So how does this new magazine stack up against its well-regarded namesake? Its probably too early to tell. The photography is wonderful and there is a great variety of styles on display by a wide range of shoemakers, some of whom I'm familiar with and some that I'm being introduced to for the first time. On the other hand (and I recognize that this might be quibbling), while I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of the two magazines, the new publication seems physically smaller than the original, while the paper stock doesn't seem as high end as I remember it.
I certainly don't want to sound like I'm complaining - a well put-together issue of Last Magazine is certainly better than the vacuum that existed from 2009-2011. I eagerly await an opportunity to peruse future issues.