The Reference Library Recommends: Magazine - Where Is The Cool ?

At The Reference Library we are inspired by magazines and in our view, long may they live.

It's good to see the success of new titles like WM Brown from Matt Hranek in New York, L'Etiquette in Paris and of course Monocle continue to fly the paper flag for print.

Apart from Monocle who are notably absent it's also interesting how Instagram is helping these and other magazines thrive. I think it was Instagram where we first came across Where is The Cool ?  Chiming with our own search, it wasn't long before Laurent got in touch and kindly sent a copy of the first issue. We have kept in touch with occasional DM's since and of course follow the daily Instagram Stories.

Where is The Cool 4 is the current issue and we thought it would be good to ask Laurent a few questions.

Where is the Cool ?


Where is the start ?

A long time ago, I began to write about trends in a little blogspot. It happened that most of my discoveries became big trends, I knew at this point that I had a certain sensibility and curiosity about what happens around me and instinctively knew how it will reflect in the future, in creative domains as fashion, decoration, behaviors etc.. 

Can you buy the cool ?
Nope, unfortunately you can't buy the truth and sincerity. The most evocative example is to compare a man without taste in the most beautiful suit and another one with the culture and confidence. That makes him cool even with clothes from a thrift store.

Is the cool with you in France right now ?
The cool can be everywhere but as times pass, I see big cities like Paris, New York, London as attraction parks where everything is faked and built to be satisfying. You ll never find the cool in that kind of places. Cool places do not exist to satisfy, there are imposing to you with their own rules and it's up to you to enjoy it or not. 
Where Is The Cool ?


Where else in the world can you find the cool ?

What I love in Los Angeles is that when something works, why change it?  When you go to a spot there like The Apple Pan   (you can read an article about it in Where is the Cool? 3), it's the same spot that makes the same burger since the beginning, if people enjoy it, why change it? Californians have a respect for this and I love going there and to go in random places. 

Where are the cool spots ?

One of the coolest place I know is Tsutaya Bookstores in Daikanyama, Tokyo. There is all the magazines you want including Where is The Cool? and they have a lounge upstairs where you can have a drink and read the archives of every fashion magazines in the world. It's incredible, I could spent weeks without moving from here!

Is unevenly buttered toast still cool ?

Haha, I see that you re referring to a metaphor about the cool that I shared when Where Is The Cool Issue 2 was out!  I was saying that a perfectly homogeneous butter layer will give you the exact same taste at every bite. But, if you layer the butter in a more natural way you will taste subtle nuances that make the toast taste more savory and flavorful. 

Where is the Cool ?


Is Instagram cool ?
I don’t think we can consider Instagram cool or not because Instagram is a tool. It depends what you make with it. You can achieve great things with a hammer but also crashing heads. I really use it as a creative explorer and as less as possible as a social media but I can’t deny that the success of the magazine is really linked with it. It allows me to create new way of selling a printed magazines, I would have not been able to make the magazine the way it is (no boring advertising inside) If I had to sell in the traditional way.

Where are the cool magazines in the past?

Terrazzo, the magazine made by Ettore Sottsass with his wife Barbara Radice definitely convinced me to go into this adventure. I love everything inside, the pure freedom of each articles, their heterogeneity and the spontaneity of the pictures and the humor.

Where are the other cool magazines now ?
I would give the same answer like a lot of designer who start their own brand after saying they never recognize themselves in others but I keep buying magazines, mainly new ones to see what happens in this area.
Thanks Laurent. You can buy Where is The Cool ? Issue 4 here, and follow them on Instagram @whereisthecool 
You will find the cool there.