If you’re a fan of Spectacle Magazine and you read the last edition on New York, you may have felt a little lost. It’s possible you either didn’t like it or didn’t understand it. If you loved it and weren’t featured then you’re either a genius or I’d probably enjoy having a drink with you sometime. The ode to Hunter S. Thompson was pretty subliminal — you needed to know what Hunter looked like but also who he was and what he did. And even if you know about Gonzo journalism you still probably don’t know when you’re reading it. The point is I lost sight of what I love about Spectacle and why it’s so uniquely ours. I was too focused on strategy, thinking that coordinating our magazine with the opening of our New York store was the best way to engage the creative community of New York. As if the creative community of New York cares about the strategy of a sunglass brand. Hell, they probably saw right through my "marketing" as clearly as they are seeing right through some free GLCO sunglasses right now.
I don’t really blame myself for trying to change up the theme. Most business people would agree that aligning your content with a city where you’re opening a store is a good idea. Or maybe they would just look at the bottom line of how expensive it is to open a store and be convinced that there’s no choice. Either way, fuck that and fuck business people. To abandon California content completely wasn’t us. The best things we’ve created are great because they are a reflection of what we know. It’s simply a product of an organic relationship between us and the subject. Parallels exists between all parties. There’s a common ground. California. It’s what we know and it’s how we approach what we know. We speak our language fluently, and we hear it unadulterated. We don’t just search for our content, it presents itself to us as well. We’ve built a platform so heavily rooted in a specific culture, our culture, we can’t just pull a 180 like we did.
I believe we tell stories from a unique perspective. The people and places of California are in our soul. For this issue we simply needed to come back to what we know, if not for our reader, then for us, or for me. We couldn’t go another second without talking about In-N-Out’s Animal Style cheeseburger dripping with their chunky pink special sauce or meatheads flexing their beef on Venice Boardwalk's Muscle Beach. We longed for day trips to secret spots whose landscapes have inspired the images associated with our brand. We needed to create memories with 85-year-old Billy Al Bengston in his Venice home and soak up the sun in Cardiff with legendary longboarder Joel Tudor. And I’ve been dying to tell you what it means to Los Angeles that the Rams will play their first season here in twenty years.
Listen, I’m not saying we’re done featuring people and places outside of the Golden State. I’m not saying we’ve got anything against the rest of the world, at all. I’m not even going to say I regret the last issue — it was a new experience with some worthy memories and stories that I’ll never forget, albeit mostly negative (except for Kerin Rose; love you Kerin Rose). The last episode might not have been my favorite, but what can I say, I’m human. I’m simply saying that sometimes it takes a quick step backward before you can move forward. Look at the cover. It’s called Spectacle of California. We’re going to honor that with this issue and show you some California spectacles, something I think we do well.
Spectacle Issue 8 – available in Los Angeles 9/1.