On Monday night, Acne Paper celebrated the launch of its 14th issue with a small gathering of friends – and the friends of their friends – in the famed Grill Room at the Four Seasons Restaurant. As rain pelted the streets outside, guests sipped champagne while browsing the issue dubbed “The Manhattan issue.”
“It’s a love letter to the city,” Acne editor Duncan Campbell explained over a jazz quintet’s playful melodies. “In the past we’ve done themes like elegance, playfulness and eroticism. We’ve never done one that’s just about one city before, but it felt like it was the right time. [Acne founder] Jonny [Johansson] just got married in New York last week.”
Stands throughout the dining room held the heavy biannual magazine open for guests to admire. On one side of the room, pages were opened to a series of striking portraits by Brigitte Lacombe of New York luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Graydon Carter and Fran Lebowitz.
“It’s about who we found to be interesting, who we found to be relevant to our take on New York,” Campbell said of the magazine’s process for choosing subjects and contributors.
On another stand, the magazine’s pages were opened to an article by Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, who you might have heard of as the first guy to complete the “three pole challenge” of reaching the North Pole, the South Pole and the summit of Mount Everest. Kagge’s article chronicles his attempts to conquer Manhattan’s sewer system and includes this memorable line, which also seems to sum up Acne Paper’s feelings for Manhattan: “It became a kind of obsession for me to see the city I love from underneath, from the inside out, and to experience what it would look like if it was flipped 180 degrees.”
Campbell was quick to point out that theirs isn’t meant to be a comprehensive look at the city, however: “It’s a tiny segment of the whole pie that is New York through the years and through the levels of society and through the areas of culture. It’s a love letter.”
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