Mooks: Are they worth it?

Lately I have been looking at and buying the latest Mooks for some of my favourite brands A/W collections. I was thinking of maybe doing a post about them and whether they are worth investing in, then I read Kirin’s review of the Kitson mook (bad quality, unfortunately) and Hana asked me whether I thought the WC mook was worth the money, so I finally decided to go ahead with it.
What are Mooks?
Mooks are basically glorified catalogue magazines, made in the style of books (magazine + book = mook). They feature the majority of a brands collection for that season, but also include things such as guest models, staff coordinates and special offers etc. – although this varies depending on the brand. Mooks aren’t limited to only Gal brands either. Well known Western brands such as Cath Kidston and Yves Saint Laurent have also released mooks previously.
But the main selling point of mooks are the FREE GIFTS!! Of course every girl loves a free gift with her magazine, but the ones that come with mooks tend to be a bit better quality but then you are paying more for the mook than you would a regular magazine. The free gifts are so popular (remember the CHER bags?) that some people only buy the mook for the gift – I may be included in this category ;D
Review; Cecil McBee
The Cecil McBee A/W mook was the first one I purchased when I arrived – it was also one of the first to be released of the Gal brands, along with Emoda (which I didn’t buy as it seemed too pricey for a make-up bag which I didn’t need and gel liner which I wouldn’t use).
The magazine side of it features a special editorial with Risa Hirako, who looks stunning at 39!! See people, if you have attitude and a decent stylist Gal has no age limit ;D
Other models also make an appearance throughout the mook and the A/W collection is done justice with some gorgeous photoshoots and a very good layout. My favourite part was seeing what the shop staff were wearing and the feature on how to use an item of clothing and make two outfits from it – elegant and gal.
The free gift with the CM mook was a small reversible tote bag. When I say small, it is quite tiny but it fits my wallet, phone and camera in, so I was quite impressed. The bag itself has a black fur design on one side with a gold Cecil McBee logo – and the other side is leopard print with the CM initials. I personally prefer the fur side as fur is going to be big this season, and it makes more sense to me to have a thinner, more durable fabric on the inside.
I thought the Cecil McBee mook was overall a good purchase. The free gift was stylish and useful. The only complaint I have is that the mook was the same price as the Gilfy one, which featured a much bigger bag as the free gift.
You can see some scans from the mook here @ Universal-doll.
Review; W♥C
I had been looking everywhere for the W♥C mook for a few weeks and then I happened upon it when popping out to buy hair dye. I hadn’t realised that it had only been due out that day – silly me.
The W♥C mook doesn’t feature any special appearances by other models, but then why would they need to when Chinatsu is the producer? Although it does feature some amazingly colourful and gorgeous photoshoots, shot in familiar sights such as Shibuya. But that’s mainly where it stops. Unlike the CM mook, the W♥C one is more like a bigger version of their catalogue and has been done in the same style.
It also features a link to the W♥C webstore where you can purchase items with a special password found in the mook. This is a good marketing strategy as fans of the brand will purchase the mook just for the chance to get special items. However the ‘special items’ were mainly variations on other things, which was a bit of a let down.
The free gift was a W♥C tote bag, with Kumatan print. This was the main reason I wanted the mook, as the tote bag looked adorable and I didn’t yet have anything with the Kumatan print. The bag was on the small side, but still managed to fit all my stuff in but the handles could have been a bit longer. The one thing I was annoyed with was that there was a small hole in my bag and whereas I know you can call the company and claim a new one, my Japanese isn’t that good and I don’t have the time. It can be repaired though, so no worries.
Visually the W♥C mook is very appealing and I loved the way the A/W collection was shown. Chinatsu, as always, is gorgeous and brings the clothing to life. I just wish that the bag had been a little bigger and wasn’t damaged.
Price wise, I was a little upset as this one was the most expensive of the bunch at 1,200円 (£9.25/$14.25) and it seemed a bit steep.
Review; Gilfy
Thanks to Gilfy’s popularity I was able to pick up the mook in my local Lawson.
You may remember Gilfy’s Summer catalogue being produced by Jelly – the one with the free hat and tote bag, which was a great deal. Well their A/W mook is produced by Vivi, which means all the models featured are from Vivi magazine. Rinka takes the glory of the front page and the first editorial, which I’m sure Jenny will be very pleased with. Lena is also featured in an editorial and various other models are used throughout the rest of the mook.
I’m not a big fan of Vivi so that didn’t really appeal to me, but I did enjoy the staff-chan coordinates and the make-up tutorials. Especially the one featuring Gilfy’s Emina, who looks lovely even without make-up btw.
The photoshoots in the mook were ok, but not incredibly inspiring. Some of them were even ruined by one of the models (can’t remember her name, but recognise her face) who refused to shut her mouth in them – not attractive and incredibly annoying.
It also seemed a little too busy when it came to showing off the clothes. It was like they were trying to do high-fashion editorials rather than just simple photoshoots to show off the new items. I preferred the simpler shots where you could see the clothing and it didn’t seem as though they were trying to hard to be something they’re not.
The free gift that came with the mook was a large plastic leopard print tote, with fabric lining and the Gilfy tag. I personally think this is the best gift out of all the ones I purchased. It is incredibly large and is the perfect size for my textbooks etc. It’s on trend with the leopard print and it’s durable. Thumbs up for Gilfy ;D
Price wise, the Gilfy mook was the same as the Cecil McBee one at 980円 (£7.60/$12.60). I personally would have paid that for the bag alone, and even though I wasn’t a big fan of the inside of the mook (nowhere near as good as the ‘produced by Jelly’ one) I will still be checking out the latest items and making a wish-list XD
Which mooks catch your eye?
Do you think they’re worth the money?