1. Hi Neil! Can you give us a brief history of Proper Mag and what inspired you to start it? Did you start as a website initially or did the print version come first?
Proper's first incarnation was in the form of a website called 'Propertop.com' that we started about 10 years ago as a diversion from a tedious dead end office job both Mark and I were trapped in. As our clothing obsession reached ridiculous proportions we realised that there was a clear demand for a mag aimed at our fellow obsessives, albeit with loads of sarcastic stuff and the odd article about music. I still can't quite believe that we've gone from printing it on a £50 printer to be stocked in some of our favourite shops all over the world.
2. What are the challenges of running a print magazine? With major online sites such as Hybebeast moving into print, do you think we’re starting to come full circle on the online boom?
Much as I love the internet, you'll never beat print in physical form, I've no idea why, it's just better.
3. Proper Mag is a magazine that ‘centres on clothes, not fashion’. Is this a deliberate move to not align yourselves directly with the #menswear and Streetwear Dave crowds?
It's purely because we don't want to look like dicks when we go through old issues in five years time, fashion does dictate what everyone wears but we like to think that we have at least some say in what direction it is we go in rather than a big glossy fashion mag with loads of unwearable clothes that cost the price of a small car.
4. Is it hard to find the balance between covering what you’re into personally versus what you think might get more hits? Or are you essentially dead in the water once you compromise on what you’re about?
I think if we tried second guessing what was 'cool' rather than writing about stuff that genuinely excited us then we'd have lost interest a long time ago. The beauty of our (relatively) small publication is that we don't dance to anyone else's tune but our own. By the way that tune is 'Good Morning Judge' by 10cc
5. Any particular brands or trends that you’re rating at the moment?
Judging by the heaving shelves of my wardrobe I think that sweat-shirts have become the new trainers – Good Measure, Todd Snyder's stuff for Champion and the new Russell Athletic premium range coming out later in the year are all doing it for me at the mo.
6. What can we expect from issue 15 of Proper Mag?
Hip Hop, sweatshirts, drugs maybe a word-search.
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Interview by SeanM