Ok, so your pals might be a tough bunch to impress. You try and show them a new jacket or a fresh pair of trainers and you're presented with a group of stone faces glaring back at you. Fine. Well what if we told you that it's possible to impress them with a book. A book? Yes, a book. One of those funny old things you used to have read when you were at school, you know the ones? While books are most likely at the very bottom of your priority list these days, there are actually some excellent examples out there that might successfully draw your attention away from social media for 5 minutes. The books in question are what we like to call 'coffee table books' - the type of books you might have kicking around your bedroom for reference purposes. These aren't necessarily books you read from cover to cover in one sitting, but more the kinda of books you dip in and out of from time to time.
Well, guess what? We recently received a tone of first class reading fodder, in the form of 'coffee table book', just in time for the festive period. To help you select the best we've whittled down our offering into a manageable amount that we guarantee you'll be able to impress your pals with.
1. Supreme: Downtown New York Skate Culture
Legendary streetwear brand Supreme released this monograph in 2010 to chronicle their impressive back catalogue of collaborations with some of the world's most cutting-edge designers and artists. It also features an exclusive interview between founder James Jebia and artists KAWS not to mention a wealth of outstanding photographs and illustrations. Definitely one for hypebeasts and skate culture enthusiasts alike.
2. Another Man: Men's Style Stories
Men’s Style Stories offers an exquisite and insightful journey into the world of men’s fashion with the help of Another Man's extensive image archive. There's also a brilliant narrative throughout which includes interviews and conversations with both musical legends and fashion icons including Jarvis Cocker, Kate Moss and Bobby Gillespie among others.
3. Glen E. Friedman: My Rules
Glen E. Friedman is pioneering figure in skateboarding, punk and Hip-Hop culture, having photographed the likes of Black Flag, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Jay Adams and Tony Hawk to name but a few. His book My Rules features some of his most prolific work to date, underscored by the rebellious nature of his subjects and the cultures they were part of. Highly recommended!
4. Hip Hop Family Tree
Self-confessed Hip Hop nerd, Ed Piskor, chronicles the early days of the genre in a Marvel Comics-esq style. Part one of the series features pioneering stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. Definitely one for Hip-Hop heads and comic enthusiasts alike.
5. Take Ivy
Take Ivy is a truly iconic book and a must-have for any sartorially savvy guy. Put together by four Japanese men's style enthusiasts, the book features a superb collection of candid photos taken around the mid-60s on the campuses of American's elite Ivy League universities. Expect plenty of chinos, penny loafers, Oxford shirts and varsity-style sweats. A truly brilliant book!