Issue 10 —

The expansive conceptual denim story that stands at the heart of Vanity Teen’s tenth issue offers a new sense of maturity for the hot young Spanish magazine that is primarily known for its punky pouting and bad kid attitude. But, as the sprawling project profiling denim by Ben Lamberty shows, the young talent behind Vanity Teen can more than hold its own in a more traditional studio-bound format in addition to the from-the-hip street location shoots for which the mag has become known. As the name of the denim story suggests, Struwwelpeter, its starting point is the weird world of European fairytales and childrens’ stories. What follows is a Tim Burton-esque vision in which the notoriously kinky kids tales become a starting point for a camp and theatrical presentation of some of the hottest denim streetwear brands; urban mythology derived from ancient folklore with a few nods to the typologies of pop culture.

Elsewhere the title continues with its rapid fire diet of very young talent arriving as the de facto new celebrities. Perhaps the strongest example of this is the interview –accompanied by his images- of the young Brazilain photographer Antonio Bezerra, better known as Didio, whose sensual images of gangly young men have made him one of the sought-after young talents in fashion photography, particularly in Mediterranean regions.

    Issue 10 –
    October 2010 64 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Sergi Struwwelpeter Do I Look Pretty? LFW Roof Top Boys Interview Didio Chris Defining Faces Pat Fjord
    Editor In Chief –
    Toni Perez
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Our Take —

Vanity Teen is one of the most pretentious magazines around. And so it should be. Adolescence is, after all, a time for experimenting with social identities; trying to find a place in the world. With a name like Vanity Teen, it’s not as if this title could be accused of misleading us as to its potential intentions. The self-referential narcissism of youth is its reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Enclaves of naïve youths may throw bricks at the screen upon reading such blunt words about a magazine aimed at them –and within which many of them probably dream about appearing- but it’s hardly a hidden reality that the patronizing old people should deny, going along with it like some Emperor’s New Clothes narrative.

Youth is sexy. Youth sells and, more importantly, youth buys. But, in all honesty, it is often difficult to work out exactly at whom this title is aimed. Is it actually at the youth audience that one might automatically assume from the title? Or is it at lecherous old voyeurs of both genders, eager to mainline that elixir in the form of fresh faces and fresh blood? The truth is probably a bit of both.

In the case of the former target audience, the title should be congratulated on its stark and clear art direction and photography, clearly leaps and bounds ahead of the usual diet of kooky and trite imagery thrown at young people. And, even if the matter of the latter raises certain difficult questions, then it would be dishonest to dismiss the strength of what Toni Perez has developed. Whether Mr Perez is a young victim of the industrial-media complex or whether he, young but wily, has beaten them at their own game is the stuff of bar room debate that is entirely divorced from the clarity of vision this title offers. If you want to learn about contemporary creative youth –as a participant or consumer- Vantiy Teen is essential reading.

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