CULTURE

Dapper Dan bows to the world

The portrait of photographer John Vikias gracing the debut cover of Dapper Dan is a clin d?oeil at all men out there who beg to differ. It is also the visual rendition of the black-and-white magazine?s manifesto.

?Each one perceives revolution in their own field,? said photographer Vassilis Karidis, who co-founded the magazine along with fashion editor Nicholas Georgiou and art director Ismini Adami. ?For us it?s about how we perceive fashion and the media and by extension the men we?re addressing. Enough with the media-driven male role models; we want to make space for something which is freer and embrace what is out there.?

A Greek-based publication printed in Britain and distributed in select outlets around the globe, Dapper Dan is an English-language biannual, coffee-table magazine of independent financial means. A reference to gifted mobster Danny Hogan, known as Dapper Dan, the magazine?s title, said Karidis, is to be taken with a smile.

The new venture is part of a general trend of independent publications moving away from the directives of advertising departments, which often dictate editorial content.

?As a reader, I felt that men?s magazines were either super-commercial or very high-fashion,? noted Karidis. ?We like the simplicity of men, they are easier, not as complex as women and visually this is very interesting. There are thousand of women?s titles and we didn?t think we had something new to add.?

Stories in the debut issue included interviews with forward-looking photographer Juergen Teller, rising menswear designer Damir Doma and Daniele Tamagni, whose photo-book ?Gentlemen of Bacongo? explores the ?Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People,? a group of impeccably dressed Congolese men who defy poverty and violence in their immaculate tailored suits.

Establishing Dapper Dan?s identity was vital to the editorial team, who decided to keep the first issue ad-free. Following its launch in March, 2010, 1 in Paris, the magazine has attracted advertising interest, though future ads will have to adhere to the publication?s black-and-white conviction.

According to Karidis, the two-toned visual philosophy gives the editorial team a sense of freedom, as the color restriction reinforces the narrative and adds a timeless quality.

The time factor takes on another dimension in the magazine?s fashion editorials, where a Raf Simons shirt, for instance, is combined with the attire of a Greek presidential guard ? in the first issue, 70 percent of the featured clothes were vintage garments.

?Trends should be filtered through one?s personality in order for a man to make them his own,? noted Karidis. ?We celebrate the everyday things of life,? said Karidis. ?We are addressing a creative audience, all those interested in reading something new.?

For more information, visit www.dapperdanmagazine.com.