THE LEOPARD is a new limited edition annual magazine from Alister Mackie, art director Jamie Andrew Reid and editor Liam Hess.
A scrapbook of archival material, new photography and rare interviews, THE LEOPARD covers cult artists from generations past that might otherwise be overlooked, alongside emerging creatives working in their tradition today. A celebration of queer life in all of its creativity, sensuality and DIY glamour – from political activists to painters, poets to pin-ups – the features and photo stories are linked by the recurring presence of the magazine’s mascot, the elusive creature of the leopard
The Leopard looks like a magazine – but it feels more like a collaborative art project than a fashion glossy. Entirely free of advertising, its pages explores queer male conversations across generations and modes of expression, pairing contemporary image-makers and creatives with cult figures.
The brainchild of Alister Mackie, the creative director of Another Man, The Leopard references gay visual history without slipping into a straightforward redux. A flick through its pages – edited by Liam Hess, and art directed by Dazed’s Jamie Reid – brings to mind everything from After Dark mag to pin-up physique pictorials and the fever dream images of underground arthouse cinema.
Inside, the Instagram account @lgbt_history’s collection of archival badges (‘Punk fag’, ‘Famous dyke’, ‘Kiss me, I’m a diseased pariah’ are some of the many highlights) are photographed by Ryan McGinley, while Ethan James Green captures the works which burst from every corner of Stonewall rioter and artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt’s house. With a focus on self-documentation, one feature sees photographer Michael Bailey-Gates in full make-up and a wig, recalling Candy Darling shot by Richard Avedon, while Ib Kamara (partnering with Kristin-Lee Moolman) explores masculinity, posing in a leopard print mini dress while holding a gun covered in the same fabric. Elsewhere, there are archival self-portraits by Swiss artist Luciano Castelli, and new images by Thiago Dias.
A series of “very very limited edition” leopard print fetish items, including a pair of lace-up suede underwear by designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin, some platform boots by Roker x Charles Jeffrey, and a pair of ponyskin Fleet Ilya cuffs – are being released to celebrate the launch. They’ll be for sale on Instagram, but you can peruse the wares via The Leopard’s old-school cut-and-post ads – inspired by those that dominated back pages of pulpy magazines past.
The Leopard isn’t intended to be seasonal, or annual – you get the feeling it could shapeshift into something new entirely next year. Move fast, though – there aren’t many of the super limited issues to go around.