2018, a year where millennials are hoping to cement an independent existence in an ever homogenised society, they must do so amidst an eerie backdrop of global discord and uncertainty. Economically and politically there are many parallels between now and the tail end of the 1970s; when new magazines – BLITZ, I-D and The Face – emerged that were made by young people for young people. Strikes and years of discontent had left a disaffected youth willing to push the boundaries of the pre-existing models of dress and style. A spirit of diversity was reflected in the young developing designers; John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood.
Fast forward forty years the role of big data means that an ever increasing feedback loop, fed from algorithms, only increases the stranglehold of mega corporations. As an independent business, unless you have the finances to afford to engage in new technological advertising, it has become virtually impossible to respond with creative integrity in today’s climate. Understandably, the consumer will look to other sources.
In spite of this, if you are willing to look hard enough, there are still some real alternatives for those who appreciate a burgeoning and independent creative culture. Those that choose not to engage in negative feedback loops; that avoid click-bait for more interesting rare books and appreciate the dynamism of a newly charged political generation will be rewarded for their labours. We wanted to take the time to celebrate our fiercely independent designers, self-publishers, and records labels that succeed regardless.