His street fashion column, Dos and Don’ts, turned us off Birkenstocks and dreadlocks on white people; his “Guide to Anal Sex” answered questions we could ask no one else; his “Guide to All the Races” made us laugh uncomfortably.
As the editorial architect of , his philosophy was “never bore,” so the magazine published articles about subjects that young people find compelling (namely, sex, drugs, and music).
After finishing university, he stayed in Montreal, where he published a zine called , funded through a welfare-to-work program.
While it still publishes a magazine—circulation 1.16 million worldwide—it also produces videos about Africa, the Middle East, and skateboarding.And if Levi’s comes looking for some co-branding, will farm out a few of its contributors to produce videos about the American workingman and his jeans. He does all the things big brothers do: makes you feel lame, then bequeaths you his jokes; tells you that you’ll never have sex, then teaches you how to go about it; calls your friends losers, then lets you hang out with his.For me and hundreds of thousands of others my age (I’m in my mid-twenties), this was Gavin Mc Innes, co-founder of , a monthly magazine that was started in Montreal in 1994.Greeting me in Keds and a sweatshirt, he introduces his researcher, Bob (“This young lady is writing a profile about me because I’m fucking amazing. ”), and fishes me out a copy of of his comedy sketches (retail value: , including shipping).
At Mustang Sally’s, a bar down the street, he makes a number of penis jokes, touching on Nick Nolte’s rumoured testicular surgery (“Talk about polishing a turd”) and his own issues with circumcision (“You never get a rational argument for it. He also recounts pranks he’s played: after losing ’s online Hipster of the Decade contest, he sent the gossip website a video of himself eating a bowl of cornflakes soaked in his own urine, apparently in protest.But the magazine’s voice—funny, blunt, and inflammatory—was more important than its content, and made its name by printing the unprintable about gender, race, and sexuality.This was partly political; being polite about social problems, Mc Innes believes, only allows them to fester.Mc Innes is no longer involved with ; he and his two partners split in 2008 over creative differences.For legal reasons, he can’t discuss the details, but he has hinted that he sold his shares for a handsome sum—and since then he has been working full time at being Gavin Mc Innes. My request for an interview elicited an instant response, and when we meet at his office in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood (coincidentally, on the day of the “worst hangover” of his life), he tosses me plenty of sound bites.“This is the first time young people have had a revolution that involves them getting paid,” Mc Innes told the , but the ploy got his attention, and he eventually became a partner, buying 25 percent for a reported 0,000.