Welcome to the 89th issue of B.
In November 2011, B published its first issue. I’m not the type of person who puts a lot of weight on numbers, but while we were getting ready for our tenyear anniversary events last year, I daydreamed often about the significance of the past ten years. It all started when I was handed B’s Freitag issue a decade ago. Back then, I was working as an editor at another magazine company, feeling pretty tired of the infinite cycle of deadlines. I was always up on the news, meeting new people from all walks of life, but I lost motivation and didn’t know what I had to write for. B’s format covers only one brand throughout the entire issue, and that struck me as refreshing. I was lucky to join the editorial team of B from the fourth issue, and more luckily, I’m here now celebrating the magazine’s tenth anniversary.
Anyone who looks closely can see how tiring bookmaking is. We always feel forced to surrender to time as its finiteness runs diametrically opposed to our pursuit of perfection. But, sure, this may be true in all fields. Despite it all, there are some “shining moments.” Not everything in the world of a particular brand is flattering, but from time to time, I’m surprised by a pure energy in one. I’ll be mesmerized by a remark made by a brand’s founder, the hospitality of a store clerk, the perfect system of a manufacturing facility, or the passion of an artisan. We’ve uncovered some fascinating aspects of many brands over the last ten years. And our growing readership is clear evidence that today’s brands are more than just businesses.
As we looked into Arc’teryx, a Canadian outdoor label, we felt that thrill again. We felt the brand’s high aspirations from how sincerely committed they are to performance and quality. They already have hundreds of well-made original products, but they continue to question, research, and experiment to make even the slightest of improvements. It’s not just their designers, engineers, and managers working toward this; all the partners they work with are 100 percent committed to this common goal. Dan Green, a key figure behind the brand’s countless innovations for the past 21 years, says, “If we discover an extraordinary fabric and make some improvements, many people on the streets will not notice the difference. For us, however, the best thing is making good products.” They are indifferent to all but substance, and their attitude is reflected in their products. That’s why people who’ve ever used Arc’teryx products like the Alpha SV jacket say nothing more than: “Just try it on.”
These minute improvements Arc’teryx has made have many implications for other brands. Without respect for the prototype, making a product greater and better is an impossible task. After producing nearly 90 issues of B, we have become sensitive to brand origin stories. Perhaps the brand is all about that moment when one person’s great idea comes into existence after overcoming countless obstacles and cynicism. The force that pushes a brand past all these roadblocks can be called its DNA, and we want to tend that spirit as much as possible. So, in celebration of B’s tenth anniversary, we look back to the beginning.
Content & Editorial Director