BACK IN PRINT: Gay general interest magazine Têtu returned to French newsstands as a bi-monthly magazine on Tuesday after a year-and-a-half out of print.
The relaunched magazine highlights its coverage of social and political issues of interest to the queer community, editor in chief Adrien Naselli told WWD.
“The lifestyle content will still be there, but you’ll see it less on the cover,” he said. “Têtu already dealt with questions of society and politics in an intelligent way – it was a good magazine – but it was in the wrong package.”
That magazine founded in 1995 had been fronted by hunky cover boys in various states of undress. Even well-known personalities who appeared on the cover tended to show some skin, as when Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing appeared nude for the March 2015 issue, which he also guest-edited.
The March-April cover shot by Hervé Lassince, whose work was featured at the International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France, last year, eschews fashion styling and bare abs in favor of a trio of three diverse young people in everyday clothes. “I wanted them to wear their own clothes because we chose them for their personalities, not their look,” Naselli said of the image.
Paid circulation of Têtu in France had slipped 9.6 percent in 2014 to 28,275 copies, according to France’s Circulation Audit Bureau. July 2015 saw publication suspended as the magazine entered bankruptcy. (Têtu had long been loss-making, but had previously been sustained by owner Pierre Bergé until the French businessman and long-time partner of Yves Saint Laurent sold the magazine for one symbolic euro to Jean-Jacques Augier in 2013.)
In January 2016, a new owner for Têtu, the web start-up Idyls, relaunched the publication as a web site. “The three pillars of the new Têtu are the gay community news, wellness and lifestyle,” Idyls’ cofounder Julien Maquaire told WWD at the time.
For the magazine’s fashion coverage, expect to see items that break down high-fashion trends for the uninitiated in a playful way.
“See it as a ‘fashion for dummies’ kind of section,” said Thoaï Niradeth, the former Jean Paul Gaultier staffer, who heads up Têtu’s fashion coverage. The March-April issue includes a how-to guide for the “dressing like a tourist” trend and a cheeky write-up on unfinished hems. Shopping pages in the new Têtu showcase affordable items that are available for purchase throughout France – and not just in Paris.
“The idea is to make fun of ourselves a little,” said Naselli. “Our magazine is not really in fashion, so we wanted to show readers how to survive the trends even if we don’t understand them.”