Nine alternative fashion magazines

The print industry’s death knell has been sounding for quite some time now, but that hasn’t stopped these magazines from launching and asserting their spots on our nightstands. They provide an alternative vision to the Vogues and Elles of this world – from female-friendly porn to “anti-fantasy” fashion. And who can resist the scent and weightiness of actual paper? That’s tangible, printed goodness right there.

The Gentlewoman

Cooking show

With its “anti-fantasy policy”, The Gentlewoman has no time for trends, airbrushing and aspirational purchases. Rather, it offers a fresh and intelligent approach to style, looking at the way women look, think and dress. As editor-in-chief Penny Martin says, “God knows there’s a whole media that will slag off any woman … and we’re hopefully an antidote to that.” We can’t resist a fashion rag that puts Angela Lansbury on the cover!



Cooking show

A female-friendly porn magazine – created by women, for women – merging fashion, art, erotica and articles of political and world issues. The Daily Beast describes it as “The New Yorker meets Hustler meets Interview”, in the way it sexualises the intellectual and humanises the sexual. Launched in November, its first issue featured an excerpt on discovering sex with a painter from American novelist Dodie Bellamy, a recipe for an aphrodisiac breakfast (because “you can’t spell ‘breakfast’ without ‘breast’) and a former Vogue writer’s recount of her visit to the Doc Johnson Adult Toy Factory.


Cooking show

Want to live a more stylish life? Kinfolk is to hosting what Apartmento is to interior decorating and The Plant Journal is to gardening. There are no celebrity chefs or corporate tie-ins – just simple, unfussy tips for preparing dishes and entertaining, with an appreciation for art and good design.

Hello Mr.

Cooking show

Though Hello Mr. is a magazine about men who date men, the articles are accessible to a wide range of readers – wherever you sit on the Kinsey Scale. The publication works to shatter stereotypes, painting an alternative and more realistic picture to the ‘fabulous’ camp gay archetype that pervades trashy sitcoms and the mainstream media. You can read an excerpt here.

Acne Paper

Acne Paper may be branded, but that doesn’t make it short on substance. Though its large format makes it difficult to read on public transport, we just love pouring over its gorgeous and minimal shoots, balanced out with thoughtful articles. Contributors have included David Lynch, Lord Snowden and philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky.


Cooking show

Want a bit of self-motivation? Pick up a copy of locally produced magazine Spook, which is dedicated to showcasing up-and-coming bands, artists and fashion designers. A solid read for the under-30 set who also enjoy Oyster and RUSSH.

Cherry Bombe

A fashion-heavy food publication mixing “sustenance with style”. Think Lucky Peach meets The Gentlewoman. Funded using Kickstarter, it’s grown to acquire a cult following, landing contributions form Garance Doré and Sofia Coppola and snagging a cover star in Karlie Kloss – licking cookie dough off her fingertips, no less! How’s that for delicious imagery? 


Cooking show

Candy celebrates androgynous style, describing itself as “The First Transversal Style Magazine”. So far Tilda Swinton, James Franco and Jared Leto have all donned drag to cover the magazine. The latest cover star? Lady Gaga with her lady parts (and pubic hair) on show.


With Vogue and Harper’s playing it safe, trust Love to deliver on the risqué editorials. The heavyweight glossy featured a naked Beth Ditto on its first cover and later, Kate Moss kissing trans beauty Lea T.