Sami Reiss (right) in Philadelphia.

I’m Sami Reiss, a writer from Ottawa, Ont. who is based in Brooklyn. You may know me from my work at GQ, where I cover vintage clothing, furniture design and strength sports, or from my writing on these topics at the Wall St. Journal, ESPN and Ssense. Or you may have seen my IG around, or you may have bought vintage from me in the 10 years I have been selling and sourcing. I have been writing my newsletter, Snake, for a decade. For five years it was about vintage clothing; now it is about furniture.

What is Snake?

Snake is my attempt to bring to light the cornucopia of good furniture and design that doesn’t get covered or talked about by any other facet of media, and to get it into readers’ hands. There is an endless supply of it out there. It can be bought; it’s just hidden. My interest is in highlighting the most affordable, exciting pieces of furniture available each week—of the thousands I come across as research for my sourcing and buying—and passing those onto readers.

Read: Why doesn’t anybody have any good furniture?

Free subscribers can expect a dozen to 20 items on auction a month, with context, history, provenance and price history, a profile of a designer every other month, complete with a brand history, price guides—what to pay at a flea market, at auction, in a store—a guide to the designer’s major works and a catalog of rare and undervalued items, an essay covering how furniture works every other month, and Q&A interviews every two weeks. Paying subscribers will receive auction reports every week, and a brand history and an essay every month.

Read now for an education in design, covering every style from this past century, and enter the collectible furniture market for cheap.

Read: How the content shakes out

What paying subscribers can expect

Weekly Snake Auction Observers focus on furniture auctions on LiveAuctioneers.com, which has a steady, though hidden stream of important/beautiful/smart/simple items. I pick out the best of them every week and offer instructions and advice on how to bid, win, and how much to spend. All styles, price points are highlighted, with an emphasis on items available that normal people can buy.

Monthly Snake Lores: in-depth profiles of designers and brands, with a focus on trending, avant-garde and expressive designers and forgotten canon designers. Profiles contain a brand or history, price guides—what to pay at a flea market, at auction, in a store—a guide to the designer’s major works and a catalog of rare and undervalued items.

Monthly essays on what furniture means—how it works, why things are the way they are, and what to do about it as a smart normal person with a job and a life.

Regular explainers: how to bid, how to get a good price at a flea market, how to spot fakes, how to date items.

Q&A interviews every other week with vintage individuals of note—dealers, traders, designers, artists, set people—about what they like, what they hunt for, what they are curious about, who they follow on Instagram and so on.

Reader (and media) testimonials:

  • "Snake is the best newsletter around if you are looking to understand and learn about design. Or outfit your dwelling."

  • "Reading your newsletter has elevated my understanding of interior design and opened my mind to better ways to buy furniture and objects"

  • "Hey, wanted to say i appreciate the work you've put into this. It's been a real pleasure learning about all of this. This newsletter feels like a part of a lost internet, people don't write about STUFF with this much earnestness anymore. Like, vintage furniture, design, clothes etc. is a wild place and no one talks about it. Any way, please keep it up and please make more hats! "

  • "Invaluable info, much love from Houston"

  • A guy who knows more than anyone about furniture tells you what auctions to bid on.”—Matthew Schnipper, Deep Voices, quoted here.

My book:

I began this newsletter in 2014, and at that time I wrote about vintage clothing. In 2023, the first 100 newsletters I wrote were collected in a book, Sheer Drift, on Shining Life Press. You can read about the book on Printed Matter’s website or on GQ.com. You can order the book through Shining Life Press; it is also in stores.

Snake merchandise is available on snakeUSA.bigcartel.com when the store is up. It can also be purchased at the following stores, stock permitting: Fantasy Explosion (NYC), Supply Tokyo, Varsity Los Angeles and Lower East Coast (Miami).

Contact me:

My Substack page is here: https://substack.com/@snake

I am available through replying to any newsletter, or on email at sami.reiss @ gmail.com, or on social channels @ samisreiss.


*I write and my work has appeared in GQ, the Wall St. Journal, SSENSE, ESPN, Deadspin, Inverse and in other publications.

Rest in peace Wade Allison and Riley Gale

Subscribe to SNAKE

1.) The best furniture every week, all styles and price points, on auction 2.) Monthly brand/designer profiles 3.) Biweekly interviews about vintage 4.) Since 2014

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Sami Reiss 

Sami Reiss writes and is Snake