New publication ventures ebb and flow. The last few years the trickle became a mighty river, and these are marketed mostly towards young, adventurous male consumers. We have been able, luckily, to subscribe to many of these, so we are giving them this cheery little introduction.
This is an unprecedented amount of menswear titles to be hitting the scene all at once, so they are getting their own introduction.
“10 Magazine is built on the belief that fashion should be shot beautifully and supplemented with exclusive interviews, groundbreaking editorial features and powerful, opinionated journalism.”
Like it’s feminine precursor, 10, this magazine is aimed at a young, elite (by coolness, not by money) insider. Someone tuned to the international art, styling, and fashion scenes. The style put forth in this title is a little bit punk, a little bit mod, a little bit minimalist, and completely eclectic. The models eschew the polish of a mainstream glossy for the earnest, starved looks of Dickensian heroes. Their androgyny is odd, given the editor’s slam for the “womenswear” coming down recent menswear runways (in his introductory letter). Like 10, this is published in London.
This title is, so far, only a supplement. We don’t know yet if it will be a regular publication, either as a supplement or as its own title.
CR and it’s companion title, CR Men, are the brainchild of Carine Roitfeld, who publishes them in the West Village. Roitfeld is a former model and fashion editor, as well as consultant-muse to Tom Ford and Karl Lagerfeld.
The magazine is also focused on a young, avant garde market. The models are equally androgynous and melancholy, but the whole magazine has a pop-culture focus on music. Its layouts present fewer glossy posed models and more bohemian juxtapositions. Like other titles, it includes many interviews with creative people, and lots of collaboration with artists and designers.
This title is published twice a year in Surrey, UK, but its editorial offices are in Athens, Greece. Like other new menswear titles, this one is also aimed at an elite, young, androgynous, and intelligent customer. Unlike several of the other titles, this one is more intellectual at its heart. The self descriptive is “Men’s Fashion & Philosophy”, and all the editorials are presented in a rich-depth black and white, matte format.
It has attracted high-quality advertisers, such as Vivienne Westwood, Prada, Dior Homme, and Camper (shoes?), but only has ads in the first 10 pages at the front. The editorials are shot in straight-on, matter-of-fact shots with saturated gray tones and unsmiling, unmoving models. The clothes included within are a combination of vintage and more avant-garde designers. There is a good deal of Prada and Dior Homme, Vivienne Westwood, and the like. But there are also imageless articles on such topics as “Psychogeography: The New Paradigm?”, art that lies, and interviews with several artists in this single issue. I have idea where this pool of thinkers-editors comes from, but they like intellectual conversation with their relaxing herbal tea.
The one menswear thing that the UK always will have over the US is Saville Row. In fact, the December 2015 issue has an entire layout of just this: Saville Row’s finest, laid out for comparison in an English country house, page after page. The Brits don’t do everything well, but menswear? They’ve got that one down.
This title is very like it’s American counterpart, except for these things: it’s more gossipy, more metrosexual, (including more “product” ads,) and just all around more playful. The ads are edgier, much of the content is laid out in those charming info-boxes that please the ADD in all of us, and the clothes: the clothes are just better. Maybe it’s that the English already believe that fashion is a men’s thing too (e.g. there are a lot more ad pages in these than the US version). Maybe it’s that their European focus makes them more cosmopolitan. Maybe it’s also that British humor is more subtle and not out of place in a man’s magazine, but this version of GQ is more fun than its American counterpart.
“Inventory was established in 2009 as an online platform and biannual publication to explore the aesthetic and cultural interests of its founders. By offering a unique and global perspective on design, craftsmanship and culture, both forgo the temporariness of trend to focus on the brands, designers and artists whose bodies of work reflect a commitment to quality, and a desire for innovation.
Working with established and emerging photographers, stylists and writers, the magazine places equal emphasis on accomplished journalism and beautiful imagery, and seeks to represent contemporary icons alongside future influencers.” I’ve included this whole quote (the “About” section from their website) just to show how similar in intent all these new avant-gardey titles are. The only differences are in the “how” of their editorial visions.
This magazine is the curated vision of several young men. Visually oriented, the graphic design embraces a meditative, minimalist aesthetic with both perfectly manicured, but slightly rugged hands. The images occupy their white pages much the same way that paintings enliven a white gallery wall. The producers also keep a Tumblr, and the list of contributing photographers is twice as long as several other contributor lists put together. (To give you a sense of the editors’ commitment to minimalism, take a look at the fashion director, Stephen Mann’s, Tumblr: THENONPLACE: http://stephenmann.tumblr.com/)
Another notable point about this title is the absence of any line between catalog and “curated” publication. If the viewer clicks on “Latest Arrivals” under the Store heading on their website, new issues of the magazine are interspersed with such diverse merchandise as watches, shoes, the title Apartamento (which we also subscribe to), a dog tipi, and postcard sets.
Numero Homme is the menswear leg of the international women’s fashion/culture magazine Numero. Unlike it’s newer compadres, it is a tribute to Helvetica, bold and straight. Even though the web layout is nearly as minimalist as, for example, Inventory or Dapper Dan, it’s photography and layout are both intended to draw the viewer in, not to soothe or isolate.
Launched in 2007 out of Paris, this title is the biannual companion to Numero, another avante-garde point-of-view fashion magazine launched successfully in 1998. Perhaps due to Numero’s success, the title is more firmly rooted in the fashion industry than it’s newer, offbeat competitors. While the inside design of this title has also gone to very simple design with clean small text and a lot of white framing, this title has more traditional fashion advertisers like Calvin Klein, than, say Inventory, which had few ads. This title switched from glossy to matte pages with its F/W 2013/14 issue, and but retains a much more lush photographic identity. Some of the layouts use the rich black and white modeling of the newer titles, but many are so richly colored and styled that they hearken more towards Li Edelkoort’s luscious Bloom magazine.
Another difference between this title and the new set are that Numero Homme is still directed towards an older man who’s “made it”, while Inventory, Dapper Dan, Fantastic Man and some of the other young titles have a much younger (20-something?) “downtown” audience.
Man of the World is as close as a magazine can come to being “Noir”. It’s retro, it’s lush, and it’s traditionally masculine (somewhere between the British and American versions) to a fault. The difference is that it’s expensive and “curated”. If James Bond wanted a magazine to read while he waited for the next villain to drop by his hotel, this would be it. The editors seem left in the manly golden era of the 1950s and 60s. Difference is that the editor’s vision acknowledges the existence of men of color. Women do not receive the same treatment, but that is hardly unusual across this list of titles. Baby steps…
Like Inventory, this title pulls in the world of retail on its website. This site offers many features, including a “Passport” section, which suggests places a successful man should frequent when he travels. The range of cities provided is impressive, and includes Havana, Rio de Janeiro, some no-brainers like Paris, Tokyo, and New York, but also Wyoming, Puglia Italy, Brooklyn, and Abbot Kenney, CA.
“Port is a biannual style magazine with a focus on beautiful and intelligent content for the modern reader.
By invoking the lost spirit of high-quality biannual magazines, together with the most current and engaging of subject matter, Port is setting a new standard for modern titles. The magazine features essays and profiles from the world’s foremost and iconic practitioners in fields such as architecture, design, business, film, environment, politics, literature and comedy alongside timeless examples of classic style and fashion.” (Again, from their website “About” section. See how similar the editorial rhetoric behind these titles is?)
This title, like GQ UK and 10, is published in London. Port is more mainstream than a lot of the titles I’ve reviewed here, as evidenced by its more traditional layout. However, it uses the same matte paper and quality photography of many new magazines, focuses on art in much the same way, and professes to be as worldly and intelligent as every other magazine in this review. It maintains a sense of manly grit by the choice of actor (Benicio del Toro, on the cover above), and an article on the workshop build of a dream bicycle. In contrast, it employs the same sort of long-haired, earnest youths modeling as 10 Men and Dapper Dan. Then these models are dressed in the same Dior, Varvatos, Vuitton, Lauren as seen in GQ. Exclusivity is offered by balancing such common advertisers as Bally of Switzerland and Hugo Boss with Italian furniture workshops, Norwegian watches and English custom made shoemakers.
Clearly new editors envision a world where men pay more careful attention to their own self-care. The birth of these new titles suggests that there is at least some market for them. It will be interesting to see how many of them are still publishing in eighteen months, though.
If menswear is your thing, you can see all of our menswear titles listed on the “Menswear” tab on our “Periodicals by Subject” research guide:
You can keep an eye on titles we’ve added by checking out this tab:
Since you made it all the way through that assessment of our titles, we thought we’d provide this last treat for your amusement:
Complex’ 50 Greatest Menswear Brands EVAARRR
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