issue 2 —

Varón once again offers us a bilingual exercise in the men’s magazine as a stylishly austere environment; an art directed saunter through a grayscale landscape of fashion, culture and lifestyle.

Alexa Hall’s interview with British artist and writer Harland Miller, accompanied by Lonny Spence’s photos, is immediately notable (at least to those of us who are in no position to compare it reasonably with the quality of the articles in Spanish). Yorkshireman Miller waxes lyrical about everything from living with a bunch of tranny hookers in NYC to the Goth festivals of Grimsby, the perfect raconteur for a mag pitching itself in the tradition of the old school gentlemen’s quarterly. On the fashion front, Randall Bachner’s shoot, styled by Bernat Buscato of Victor Glemaud’s AW10 knitwear collection stands out: the black and white format lends itself so well to the woodland location shoot.

However, grammar nazis beware: this issue is a bumpy ride. One wants to avoid pedantry with any magazine operating in more than one language and the odd dodgy translation is easily forgiven. But it’s disappointing to see some very good (English) writing let down by sloppy (any?) proofing and at least one feature article -which one presumes was written in English- is abysmally bad and could never have been rescued regardless of editorial support. This might be far less of an issue if Varón wasn’t so clearly modeling itself on a particular tradition noted for its attention to detail in matters textual.

    issue 2 –
    April 2010 119 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Writings of the Misunderstood Harland Miller David Delfin Enrique Zunzunegui Transformer Modern Classicism Suit Up The Call of the Wild
    Editor In Chief –
    Nacho Pinedo
    Fashion Director –
    Hugo Lavin
    Creative Director –
    James Lin
    Art Direction –
    On the Rocks
    Varon - issue 2  Varon - issue 2  Varon - issue 2  Varon - issue 2  Varon - issue 2  issue 2  Varon - issue 2

Our Take —

Varón Magazine is another new title in a Spanish market that is suddenly, rather inexplicably, rich in new titles seeking a male readership. Like the others, it has its particular identity. In the case of Varón, this is one that appears to be seeking a place somewhere between a particular kind of men’s fashion magazine and a more traditional gentlemen’s quarterly.

Originality, the old adage goes, is the art of concealing one’s source. And certainly, in considering its tone and art direction, one hopes that Varón would not deny a certain set of influences that are readily recognisable from some of the recent successes of directional men’s magazines arising elsewhere and penetrating the international market. This is not the same as saying that it is derivative, nor that originality and novelty should be confused. In laying out its combination of fashion, design, lifestyle, feature articles and interviews, it fiercely applies its own stark monochromatic identity and develops its own character.

Content is fairly international without re-profiling the same globalised celebrities as so many other titles. The articles are published in either English or Spanish in a fairly random way, one assumes due to practicalities. If Varón is aiming to appeal to a male readership of various age groups, then it is also notable that the fashion appears to be speaking to a much younger audience than the articles and features. However, this is something that it has in common with a number of very successful titles. So, perhaps it is an intentional strategy.

Categories –
Fashion Lifestyle

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