The joy of the catalog is that it is a tangible object. For those of Gen Z who have never handled one, imagine some sort of hardback zine containing crisp pages of printed matter issued by a store or brand to promote its products in the pre-internet era. They’ve been walking the dinosaur path long before Sears went bankrupt and it would take a real crackpot to really want to bring back the fashion catalog: enter STORY Mfg.
Now, to be clear, a lot of fashion brands still print physical lookbooks and linesheets. In fact, there is almost no shortage of stylish, editorialized and glossy print editions of campaigns and seasonal collections. But that’s not what STORY is doing this time around.
The idea isn’t just to publicize STORY Mfg’s lush Fall/Winter 2022 collection (although that certainly doesn’t hurt!) but to showcase an idealized take on co-founder Saeed Al’s outdoor inspirations. -Rubeyi.
It’s just one piece of the STORY Mfg. puzzle, of course, but the British brand generates a lot of influence from its admiration for vintage sportswear and outdoor gear, so it’s certainly fitting to offer a visual homage by means of an intentionally cluttered, charming object. lo-fi catalog.
“This was my first photoshoot for Story mfg. After I arrived in April of this year, and with that, we wanted to capture the anti-fashion honesty of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s outdoor catalogs that featured people exploring the countryside in their natural way,” STORY team member Jordan explained.
Appropriate for a group of ardently stylish neo-hippies with their tie-dye shirts and baggy, mushroom-stuffed cargo pants.
And the catalog is indeed a physical thing! Visit STORY’s flagship store in Brighton for the real deal or browse the catalog fully online.
Otherwise, you can just admire the editorial images, which show handsome haired men enjoying the beautiful nature, basking in the rays of the Cheddar Valley in Somerset. Yes, Cheddar Valley is a real place, and yes, it’s as adorable as you’d imagine.
“I want to ape the old Patagonia and LL Bean outdoor books, but [co-founder] Katy is more reminiscent of quaint British brands like The Sweater Shop,” Al-Rubeyi explained. “The feeling of all those [publications] is that kind of pure display of clothing as a commodity to wear in your life rather than lofty collectible works of art.”
The photos alone should speak for themselves, but even the mere fact of putting together a real printed and bound catalog is a sure sign that STORY goes against the trend of the fashion industry’s thirst for novelty.
No, that’s not cool. But that’s why there is no school like the old school.