Editor’s letter: welcome to the final Friday issue

Jo Ellison on tailoring, sneakers – and confounding publication schedules

How To Spend It editor Jo Ellison
How To Spend It editor Jo Ellison | Image: Marili Andre

Welcome to the final Friday issue of How To Spend It. When I arrived at the magazine last September, I inherited a publishing schedule that followed a calendar that would confound even its most dedicated followers. We printed 34 issues a year, of which eight were Friday issues. 

History, no doubt, offers a perfectly reasonable explanation for this syncopated rhythm, but such inconsistency seemed baffling to me. If we couldn’t publish every week, then at least we should pick a day. Henceforth, How to Spend It will always come out on a Saturday. For those readers who never realised that we published on a Friday, you’ll be seeing more of us. Friday readers, I hope you’ll make the switch: we want to spend as many weekends with you as possible.

Suprematist-inspired interior design
Suprematist-inspired interior design

For our final Friday outing, we’ve gone for a dressed-down approach. In our men’s summer style guide, Jessica Beresford and Isabelle Kountoure have put together an easy tailored wardrobe that will take you effortlessly from home office to garden barbecue, and from urban park to beach. There has been much speculation in recent weeks about what our future wardrobes might resemble. Under lockdown, clothes have certainly taken on a far more casual bearing, as those of us in tracksuits and elasticated loungewear will attest. But as we start to be more social, some might feel the need for a small refresh. This edit is full of clothes that can be worn as comfortably as pyjamas, while retaining a flavour of familiar preppy smarts. We may not all be able to frequent the Riviera or Nantucket, but we can certainly look the part. 

Looking the part is something we can all do. I doubt the person who paid a record-breaking $560,000 at auction for a pair of autographed Air Jordan 1s, designed for Michael Jordan in 1985, will slam-dunk any better for possessing a piece of the NBA legend’s kit, but presumably they feel more connected with him for the ownership. The market for rare sneakers has taken on an extraordinary new lustre in recent years, furnishing a secondary sales economy that makes billions of dollars, and transforming collectors once dismissed as sneakerheads into valued clients at the most prestigious auction houses in the world. When Bernard Koomson wrote to me a few months ago, describing his journey from schoolboy sneaker trader to DJ to Adidas intern and, now, creator of his own upcoming shoe, I was intrigued. An unlikely player in a new project by the sportswear label, Koomson has joined 25 of the brand’s global partners to reimagine the ZX sneaker, one of its most popular styles. His story of determination, daring and pure dumb luck strikes me as the perfect narrative of the millennial entrepreneur. His shoe, meanwhile, is really great. 

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Another group of creatives challenging convention are the eastern European interior designers drawing on suprematism to investigate new forms. Using that art movement’s geometry, palette and political radicalism, these young disruptors have embraced the turbulent history of their respective home countries to deliver spaces in which shape and colour combust and collide. It’s exhilarating stuff. 

And for more sedate pleasures, may I recommend Clare Coulson’s round-up of essential garden tools. For state-of-the-art secateurs, shears and garden spades, these tools are the equivalent of a sneakerhead’s Kanye West Yeezy. Except more suited for a bit of Saturday weeding. See you next weekend… 

Michael Jordan wearing Nike Air Jordans in 1987
Michael Jordan wearing Nike Air Jordans in 1987 | Image: Getty Images/Scott Cunningham

@jellison22 

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