the best books of 2016, by idea books

We asked David Owen, co-founder of iconic book shop IDEA to pick out some of his favorite page-turners of 2016.

by i-D Staff
28 December 2016, 3:55pm

1. Steven Meisel Flower Calendar for Loewe
This was a sensation. There are so few Meisel books that anything in print by him is going to be instantly consumed. It is designed and produced so wonderfully well by M/M (Paris) and it is huge, which is always a bonus! We sold 100 in a few days.

2. Size Zero: A Guide to Spiritual Management by Guram Gvasalia
A book of inspirational thought by the Vetements CEO and business guru. It is a self-help book written before the Vetements phenomenon and you have to think, "Well it worked for him."

3. Vetements II Summercamp
The second of two Vetements books we published in 2016. The first was released in January in an edition of 500 and sold out in one day. There were almost ten times as many of the Summercamp book and it is still largely sold out. We have none. Try StyleBop.

4. Nikolay Bakharev Novokuznetsk
This should be on everyone's list. What went on behind closed doors in 1980s Soviet Siberia. It is very rare now to find a set of pictures that depict a scene previously unseen by the fashion world. Instagram speeds up the process of dissemination so much you think there can't be anything new and then — hello — a freestyling, three-styling ménage à trois of Russian youth.

5. The Palace by Alasdair McLellan
We published this one. But all we really had to do was give the idea to Alasdair and Lev and let them — and M/M (Paris) — get on with it. There are so many things about this book we could write that perhaps it's better to just list them: Alasdair's photos, Fergus's graphics, Stuart's 3000-plus word text, the iron-on T-shirt transfer, Lev's ironing instructions.

5. Polanski How? Why?
Many of our favourite books of the year were published in other years. We discovered them in 2016. These are our "superbooks" and from this year Polanski How? Why? is perhaps the most remarkable — not least because it was the most unexpected. Published in Japan in 1998, we found it by chance in a small bookshop a long walk from anywhere in a suburb of Tokyo. We read the spine and stopped for a moment before taking it down for fear that the book could never live up to its curious title. It did.

6. JamaisVu: Mirage Anthology
There are four published issues of Mirage magazine and all four are now super rare and go for big money when they do turn up. So this year, the editor-publisher team of Henrik Purienne and Frank Rocholl produced an anthology. It was an instant sell out. The perpetual 70s summer of cars and girls and playboys and beaches is unsurprisingly super appealing. We have one copy now of the special limited edition but otherwise… gone.

7. Fanpages
Perfect for an annual review because it is an annual! Fanpages put the internet back into print. Bay Garnett and Kira Joliffe of Cheap Date fame returned with a compilation of one-page fanzines made by the likes of Nick Knight, Stella Tennant, Joseph Szabo, and Louis Theroux. Next year's edition is already well underway but open to submissions now. All entries are welcome!


Text David Owen