BRINGING SEXY BACK: Léa Seydoux appears naked, save for a transparent chiffon cape by Alexandre Vauthier, on the cover of the new men’s monthly Lui (or “him,” in English). She was photographed by Mario Sorrenti.
Jean-Yves Le Fur, founder of Numéro, is behind the revival of the former erotic publication of the Seventies that is returning as a lifestyle magazine. It is set to hit newsstands Thursday.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It is the whim of a spoiled kid,” said editorial director Frédéric Beigbeder, speaking about his involvement in the new venture during a press conference on Tuesday in Paris.
Beigbeder, an author-cum-literary celebrity, told WWD he has collected all the issues since it was created in 1963. (The original publication ceased in 1994.)
Other photographers who contributed to the new issue include Terry Richardson, Mikael Jansson and Glen Luchford, who shot model Malgosia Bela, Le Fur’s soon-to-be wife.
Yseult Williams, founder of Grazia in France, is the editor in chief of the magazine, while New-York based George Cortina is the editor in chief for fashion. Céline Perruche has joined Lui from Grazia as beauty, style and lifestyle editor.
Some sections have been resurrected such as “La défonce du consommateur,” (“The consumer’s smash,” in English) consisting of shopping pages. The founders are hoping up to 30 percent of their readers are women.
Features also include a piece on how men’s labels such as AMI Alexandre Mattiussi, Melinda Gloss and Cuisse de Grenouille are reinventing the style of the Parisian man.
Circulation for the first issue is around 350,000 copies. Some 15,000 additional copies are to be distributed internationally, with a 16-page supplement of articles translated into English.
The cover price is 2.90 euros, or $3.80 at current exchange. The first issue contains 60 pages of advertising, including from Dior Homme, Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Bulgari.
The campaign to kick off the launch includes billboard advertising and a bus campaign featuring the cover.
The launch comes at a time when men’s magazines — albeit a smaller world — are trending better than women’s. Paid circulation in France of men’s magazines, a segment that includes GQ and Vogue Hommes International, grew 2.8 percent in 2012 to 2.5 million copies, according to France’s Circulation Audit Bureau. In the meantime, circulation of the vastly larger women’s magazine segment fell 3.4 percent in 2012 to 371.6 million copies.
“There is a large interest from advertisers [for men’s magazines], specially in the upscale end,” Philippe Rincé, deputy director of the Circulation Audit Bureau, said.
Elle Man, a new publication by French media group Lagardère, publisher of Elle in France, is set to hit newsstands on Oct. 3.