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Vogue est très mâle

08/09/2005

The launch of Men's Vogue in the US is surprising because you can't believe it doesn't already exist. But it's true : while French dandies have been able to leaf through Vogue Hommes Plus for years, the Anglo-Saxon male has been starved when it comes to fashion coverage. Sure, there are titles like FHM, Esquire and GQ, but they cover life­style rather than fashion. (Half the time, they resemble a cowardly version of porn.) Men's Vogue, we are assured, will be as clothes-oriented as its sister, with the exception that it will not feature models. That's a good idea, because male models do not look like men. Sometimes they look like boys, but more often they resemble androgynous androids from a distant planet. So the magazine will put expensive clothes on actors and sports stars. The first cover is graced by George Clooney - a safe choice, given that Clooney is about the closest we have to an old fashioned Hollywood star like Clark Gable or Cary Grant. Maybe they'll be more experimental with later issues.

Editor Jay Felden says the magazine is a celebration of taste. But really it's a celebration of the fact that men care more about their appearance - clothes, health and grooming (the guy's word for beauty products) - than ever before, and more advertisers are competing for their attention. Apparently the mag is aimed at men over 35 who earn more than 100,000 dollars a year. As I only fall into one of those categories, I'll just read half of it.

Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

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