Buffalo Zine flips convention at every turn. Every issue is different. The only constant is change. David Uzquiza, the co-publisher, managing editor and creative director, told us about this ‘chameleon’ of a magazine.
Where did the idea for Buffalo Zine come from? How much has it changed over its six incarnations to date?
My friend Adrian and I started the magazine in 2010. We both love magazines and we thought that a magazine we really loved didn’t exist. So we decided to make our own, for us and for our friends. We wanted the first issue to be in a newsprint paper format so we ended up with a very long run and started to distribute them. At the beginning it was like a hobby, and since last year we went biannual and made a bigger effort to turn it into a profitable business. We aren’t quite there yet.
Every issue is completely different from the previous in theme, design, format, paper, etc. It’s a chameleon magazine that changes every season.
You’ve been effusively showered with praise from cool quarters such as Vice, Monocle and i-D recently culminating in winning the Stack Magazine Best Magazine of the Year award. Does this affect you in any way – commercially? egotistically?
It boosts our motivation of course. Commercially, it’s hard to measure but I guess it helps getting the support of fashion brands and artists involved in participating/contributing.
Mag Culture described you as a “shapeshifter” of a magazine. How has this manifested itself and how significant is the balance between consistency and change in your design and editorial output?
We try to make each issue go in a complete different direction than the previous one. We like to surprise the readers and challenge the concept of what a magazine is. That’s why we “shift shape” from a children’s book to a shopping catalogue, an interiors magazine, or why we made a whole issue without leaving the office, shooting and creating all the contents in the building where we work on Hackney Road, East London.
Your ‘bed linen’ special in the current issue features the world of dakimakura – the Japanese world of pillow ’embracing – while you have a feature on Mies Van Der Rohe featuring a naked hunk on his furniture. Is the concept of being playful and toying with convention a key feature of your considerations?
We enjoy humour, irony, and the unexpected. And we like to inject some fun into a lot of what we do.
If money was no object in the production of your magazine what would you do?
Lack of money has been a constant since we started. If money was no object we’d like to try some extravagant format ideas, to produce some lavish fashion stories… and pay our contributors!
In the current issue you feature the actress Nastassja Kinski, the photographer Tina Barney and The Queen of Versailles Jackie Segal. It’s fair to say you are not slavishly attuned to the limiting ‘what’s hot and not’ spectrum which informs so many style magazines. How important is this?
Yes, it’s important for us to try to come up with an exciting and unexpected mix of personalities for every issue. Putting some tackiness or uncoolness into the mix makes a great balance.
What other magazines, ideas, artists, cultural offerings are exciting you? Do you foresee any trends in magazine publishing in 2018?
I heard that 2018 will be the year of Spain, lots of exciting things happening there in the fields of art, fashion, film, etc.
Buffalo Zine issue 6 A/W 2017 is out now with six different covers to choose from. Priced £19.99
Words: Michael McDermott