How do I follow Mark’s magnum opus on all our comings and goings in 2016? I know, I’ll just go through my iPhone and pick out all the photos that have made me proper buzz as I’ve looked back on them. The only problem being that I didn’t get my new phone until the end of March and during that time I had two seizures, both of which involved thrilling trips at high speed in the back of an ambulance. Which is my way of explaining why I’m starting this photographic journey from the end of that month rather than January, OK?
In April we travelled to the Massimo Osti Archive for the first time and had a massive coat overdose or coatverdose as I like to refer to it. That’s me in the lens btw.
In May we met and interviewed this fresh faced fivesome before they went off to appear on Jools Holland and conquer the world and stuff. Blossoms are lovely, lovely human beings.
In June we popped over to Florence for the Pitti menswear trade-show where we bumped into that funny posh bloke who does some of the voices on Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. He was working on his latest show outside the Duomo, which is on in January and looks pretty good.
Shortly after this foreign soujorn Saucony popped into the office to give us a taste of things to come with their Jazz reissues. We quickly became smitten with these joyous joggers and within minutes had pitched the idea of creating a spoof vintage running magazine for them called ‘Running Strong’ which you’ll probably have already seen by now if you’ve bought a copy of issue 21.
Speaking of trainers, we were pretty disappointed when we broke into this building to discover that it didn’t have a pair of size 113 Lava Domes hidden inside it.
It’s been a particularly strong year for coats and to prove this here’s a shot of me wearing my beloved Ventile 6876 Brecon next to our family friend satan. This coat has been a particular favourite of mine in 2016 as have outerwear gems from Black Mountain, Plurimus, Holubar, ArkAir , Napapijri and Adsum.
The appearance of WWI infantrymen at Piccadilly station on June the 28th literally stopped us in our tracks, a simple yet powerful way to remember the start of the ‘Great’ war.
Later that month tragedy strikes the Proper mag office as things finally come to a head with Mark’s ganglion situation and our brave little soldier agrees to go into surgery to have it removed. By day three of his recovery he finally gains enough strength to bring an ice cold can of diet coke to his lips and utter the words ‘..smashing that..‘ before farting and then passing out.
We spent a lovely afternoon in a big mill in the Peak District doing this interview for Scotts about OTS whilst LOL-ing hard at their collection of well saucy postcards.
In August we climbed up a fucking massive mountain in Sweden clad entirely in Klattermusen and without getting a single scratch on us, only for me to nearly break my neck falling down a flight of stairs the next day in a one storey bird watching station. Heavily concussed, I soon started to see strange things appear, including this white reindeer in the frozen aisle of the local supermarket.
Oh and en route to Klattenmusen we stayed overnight in a hotel in Amsterdam that had even better carpets than the Overlook. So expect to see these on a range of mugs in 2017 (probably).
Staying on a Scandinavian tip a few weeks later I travelled over to Denmark to check out the Copenhagen open courtesy of Levi’s Skateboarding. I’m not sure what I was more impressed by, the beer, the boarders or the sick digital camo field jacket they showed me.
It’s great to meet fans of the mag and I’m always more than happy to stop what I’m doing and have a chat and a photo when one of our readers approaches me in the street. I remember Paul from Nottingham here being particularly nice.
The summer ended on a high for me as not only did A Certain Ratio appear pretty much in my back garden at Moovin festival but so did reggae royalty Lee Scratch Perry. I’m really really not sure how they’re gonna top that that at next year’s event, unless they’ve managed to get Yazoo back together and resurrected Jim Morrison from the dead.
Though we did get about a fair bit of this year Mark and I have mostly been sat at our desks in Ancoats being dead creative and writing tons of killer stuff for lots of ace brands, shops, websites and publications whilst simultaneously trying to break the internet with our highly desirable mugs and tees. You should pop in to see us for a brew (before we eat all the mince pies and Roses) we’d like that.
Oh hang on I’ve just found this image from back in January where Mark went all Joseph and his hikerdelic dream-coat at the Napajiri stand at Premium in Berlin. I love this guy.