Why be a world leader when you can be a hipster? That’s the premise behind this excellent series by Israeli illustrator Amit Shimoni, creating alternate identities for some of the world’s most influential men and women – and it’s scary good.
Illustrator Amit Shimoni has a wild imagination. The premise behind his latest project is simple, if not completely outlandish: what if the world’s leaders were hipsters? What if Barack Obama was an urban foraging beekeeper with a dreadlocked bun? Or if Donald Trump a Wes Anderson buff with a penchant for retro film mediums and Hawaiian shirts? What would the world be like?
The series is called Hipstory and it’s bloody excellent, made even better by the blurbs by Stephen Ellcock that accompany each illustration. See the world in a whole new light below.
“Barrie OB is already making the most of his free time and has signed up for classes in urban foraging, beekeeping, taxidermy and kokedama (the Japanese art of sculpting moss balls). He is learning to play the ukulele and insists on subjecting visitors, VIPs and startled heads of state to selections from Morrissey’s back catalogue.”
“Believe it or not, businessman, politician and all-American braggart, Donald ‘Darko’ Trump actually has a sensitive side. He owns every Wes Anderson film on Betamax, he unwinds with the love poetry of Sufi master Rumi and rereads Sylvia Plath’s Ariel at least twice a year. During a recent interview, Trump claimed that a 2008 Arcade Fire live show made him cry and that experience has taught him that ‘the greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go’.”
“Former ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher recently changed her name by deed poll to ‘Maniac Pixie Dream Girl’. She can often be seen pedalling furiously across east London on her Valkyrie-model fixed-gear bike, ignoring red lights and gleefully ploughing into any unwary pedestrian who she suspects may harbour socialist tendencies.”
“Having kicked fascism’s ass during the 1940s, Winnie ‘Buns of Steel’ Churchill reinvented himself as a fitness guru and is now the CEO of Blood, Toil, Tears & Sweat – a successful chain of boutique health spas. An enthusiastic early adopter of bikram yoga and mindfulness meditation, Winnie has made sure his clubs offer classes in everything from ballet to boxfit and from soulcycle to vinyasa flow.”
“Aspiring musician &ela* Merkel plays vintage analogue synths and performs backing vocals in hotly tipped downtempo electronica band, My Sister’s Fetish. Their heavily ironic cover version of Europe’s The Final Countdown, recorded to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of VE Day, has received 396 plays and 14 downloads to date.”
Queen Elizabeth II
“Britain’s longest-serving monarch and normcore fashion goddess, Elizabeth R is also the undisputed queen of the mixtape. Her most recent release, Flowers in the Dustbin, is available exclusively on cassette and eight-track and its eclectic mix of dreampop, freak folk, Japanese rockabilly, Congolese polyphonic pygmy chants and vintage field recordings of exorcisms has been described as ‘a culture-jamming future classic’.”
“When Indian slow-tech guru Mahatma ‘Karmacoma’ Gandhi first arrived in the West during the dark ages of the late 1990s, he was horrified. ‘I couldn’t find a decent green chai latte anywhere! It was enough to drive me to acts of violent resistance!’ Thankfully, those days are long gone. However, ‘The Mahatma’ still insists on certain standards when it comes to his favourite beverages: ‘My coffee must be double-filtered because, as far as I’m concerned, single-filtering is strictly for imperialists’.”
“Clinton Denim Workshop is a small-batch, hand-crafted American heritage denim brand founded by devoted husband-and-wife team Hilly and ‘Bonnie Prince’ Billy Clinton – and their team of jeansmiths – in the heart of the Appalachians. Made on authentic 17th-century Flemish shuttle looms, the denim is produced with the finest milled organic cotton. Each pair of jeans is hand-stitched and signed by either Hilly, Billy, or one of their dedicated team of young interns.”
The Hipstory postcard set is published by Laurence King. All illustrations by Amit Shimoni.