|Wipe those smiles off your faces, you ingrates: your favorite Japanese street wear magazine Boon is as dead as a noor dail.
Okay, okay. None of you read Boon. I don’t even read Boon, and I read Japanese magazines for a living. While not exactly Relax-R.I.P. in stature, let me explain what this all means while you prepare your o-kouden to send to Shodensha.
The magazine market in Japan has seen steady decline over the last decade. Boon, however, has schooled everyone on how to
dramatically implode. Although launched in 1986, the magazine really hit its stride in the 1990s, becoming the main info source for the “vintage” clothing boom. At one point, Boon printed 800,000 copies a month! 800,000! This is more copies than every single contemporary O-nee-kei magazine (CanCam, JJ, Ray, etc.) combined. 800,000 copies of a men’s street wear magazine dedicated to dressing people in old, disposed American clothing.
By 2007, the whole vintage street wear thing had run its course, and Boon dropped to a 50,830 print-run — a mere 6% of its peak. Late last year, Shodensha rebranded the magazine as b., a Men’s Nonno clone showing you how to mix casual street wear with “high-brands” like Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers. Apparently that strategy didn’t work.
Unlike Relax, Boon did not really represent a particularly creative subsegment of Japanese youth culture, and I can’t claim that many will bemoan its absence. But look on the bright side: every time a youth fashion magazine goes under, another magazine targeted towards old people like Hers pops up. You guys are into off-season jaunts to Corsica, right?