This issue marks the start of a new beginning, one that establishes a new direction and introduces me as to Be Magazine’s new editor. This magazine would not be what it is today without the previous editor, Annabel Blue, and her unique perspective. Blue has been instrumental in establishing the magazine’s editorial direction and providing a platform for creatives to be seen and heard. I would like to thank her for entrusting me with her vision.
The theme for this issue, Subliminally Punk, is centred around the subtle and often elusive notions of the punk subculture. For decades, punk has been tied to aggressive attitudes, confrontational music and fashion. Beneath these stereotypes, however, there is a spirit of self-reliance and self-expression; a desire to reject traditional social norms and react against mainstream culture and those who conform to the status quo. Often referred to as the “pivot of change” or “the new right”, this movement gave us permission to be an outsider, to not conform, to be authentic and to form our own identity. In some capacity we all carry these values and celebrate them today. This is where the title of this issue takes its name.
The contributors in this issue play an important role in building the complete narrative, which celebrates individualism, nonconformity and authenticity. It seemed only fitting for our cover story to be a tribute to this. For over four decades, Walter Van Beirendonck, the godfather of punk fashion—a born activist, individualist and outsider—has used his designs as weapons to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues and enact social change.
The other artists, designers and creatives featured in this issue personify the many facets of the punk subculture: musician Elias Rønnenfeltof Iceage speaks of spite as a motivating force to create; Shygirl reveals the underlying social commentaries that informed her recent album Nymph_o; artist Benjamin Aitken shares his very personal story and sheds light on the dark impulses that led him to explore counterculture; photographer Hector Clark reminds us of punk’s evolving street-level grace; and fashion graduates Sean McCallum and Jaxon Sticklerspeak about what frustrates them in the fashion industry and what they would change about the world.
to Be Magazine continues to evolve and bring more and more individuals from around the world together to publish their ideas, stories and messages. Along with the aforementioned creatives, this issue features a number of talented photographers, stylists, artists, designers and writers including daine, Rhys Lee, Edward Mulvihill, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Tré Koch, Christopher Polak, Jamie Parkhurst, Mahmood Fazal and many others.
It’s important to note that this issue is more about a concept than a particular figure. The world of magazines has become overly celebrity-centric and my feeling is that we should not always rely on this. Rather, the emphasis should be on the representation of people’s vision and the stories they wish to tell: a means for others to imagine and potentially see themselves in a different light. Much like the counterculture movement of today, this printed issue exists in the reality that it evolved from. It can be referenced and referred to; it is a tactile testament that punk continues to exist.