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Popularity of Fashion in Men’s Magazines

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For the man who is fashion-conscious It’s been a lengthy drought. But after decades of being obliterated by the majority style magazines, there is an influx of new magazines covering the masculine side of of dressing.

With the launch of new magazines like P.O.V., Maxim, Icon and Dossier all poised to attract readers where more traditional magazines leave off, there’s a new generation of publishers who want to be the leading source of genuine content for real people.

As the new magazines fight to be heard and seen icons like Details and Esquire are taking part in their own highly anticipated revamps by introducing new editorial teams and introducing fresh fashion stories. In fact, Men’s Journal, that hulky source of biceps and biking has embraced fashion.

Magazines aren’t so easy to categorize, as they appear. In general, magazines directed to men contain some combination of the following like music, sport, money, fashion, technology, fitness and even women.

There are many formulas that enable this field of work to cover the most diverse of titles as Playboy, Men’s Health and GQ. However, all three have a common recipe for success: a financial column there, a naked woman there, ab exercises in between.

Beyond features In addition, the magazines have the same advertising bonds. Each magazine will have The Tommy Hilfigers Gaps, Chryslers and Budweisers. However, more and more these two are the fashion ads that publishers are the most anxious to attract.

“Right currently, fashion accounts for 30% of our [adbase and could ultimately be more than 50,” says Drew Massey director of the three-year-old P.O.V. Playboy Director Richard Kinsler says fashion advertising is “absolutely important.” Similar is the case for younger publications such as Vibe and Spin music magazines that have mostly male audiences. Fashion is the main factor in more than half of all advertising, says John Rollins, publisher for both magazines.

Why the sudden rise of new publications and editorial revoking? As for the new magazines the answer is simple. Publishers want to be part of an advertising base and have lots of money to spend. They see a need in the marketplace for accurate and service-oriented fashion coverage.

“Our objective isn’t to take ourselves too seriously or to become a boring fashion magazine,” Massey assured P.O.V. readers last month. “We would like to sift between the noise and offer the classic style that helps you look and feel good.”

This approach is the best one for men’s mags, says Paul Wilmot of Wilmot Communications and former Conde Nast executive. “Men want service. They want their concerns addressed in a way that is intelligent. Period.”

Men also need advice as do industry analysts David Wolfe, creative director of the Doneger Group. “There’s a major opportunity out there for a book on how-to. What should the length of a collar be? Which way do I tie bow ties? The world isn’t bound in any way Gucci on one side and Armani on the other.”

Each magazine has its own voice in editorial which can be used to form articles, select contributors and select advertisers. Sometimes, this voice is not in line with the publication’s fashion coverage. Certain fashion editors prefer dictate trends than read them. Because publishing is an industry, there is also a sense of interest, either spoken or not, in assuaging advertisers.

The mighty GQ and Details, Conde Nast’s patriarchs of men’s fashion, can seem out of sync to the “real” news coverage Wolfe speaks of. GQ is proud of its affluent, educated, white-collar readership, but do Wall Street types or Orange County lawyers have the zeal to put on Comme des Garcons suits, Missoni sweaters, and Prada boots? This is a blue-suit and white-shirt and red tie audience – Brooks Brothers and not Fred Segal. Do the cutting-edge Details audience buy the well-known Dolce & Gabbana trousers and John Bartlett coats or turn to Levi’s jeans and Gap shirts?

Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W are viewed by a few in the trade to be aspirational, and many of their subscribers, regardless of their size, shape or bank balance, enjoy seeing beautiful photographs of beautiful clothing on gorgeous women. However, many male-focused magazines, according to fashion designer Gene Meyer, are different. “Most men receive their fashion guidance from their peers as well as from friends, family members, or someone who works.”

But editors are working on making their style coverage easier to access and “accessible,” says Michael Caruso who is the new editor of Details. “I want the reader to be able to do what the models in the shoots are doing and purchase the items the models are wearing.”

At Spin magazine, fashion director Jill Swid looks at clothes as the magazine looks at issues. “I don’t shoot a story inspired by fashion trends. I base it on cultural topics and happenings on the streets; I attempt to reflect our readers’ lifestyle. Every Spin reader purchases sneakers and jeans, so this is a large part of my stories.” Similarly, Men’s Journal is sure to present stylish hiking attire and ski slope suave.

It’s no surprise that the men’s reader magazines seek to attract are more fashionable than ever before. He’s fit, healthy, even a bit smug. He’s conscious of his appearance and putting much more thought into clothing and lifestyle. However, he’s no longer the single, suburbanite with two kids and a dog so loved by publishers and advertisers. It’s the young, non-corporate, often non-white males who are driving fashion trends.

It doesn’t matter what you call him call him: urban, street or Euro. He’s buying top designer brands. Out magazine’s audience is very fashion-forward and, as per industry analysts, spends more on clothing than typical male readers of more traditional magazines. The music-oriented Vibe readership shares the same profile. “It’s about branding and image,” says Rollins. “The urban music lover desires to be seen in Armani and Versace alongside Phat Farm and Nike in the manner that demonstrates, ‘I’m cool.’ “

For the casually fashionable guy to the casual fashion-conscious victim The current state of men’s publishing brings an important change: choice. With so many male fashion magazine you can almost guarantee of finding one which speaks to him.