Nobu Launches Magazine
While more traditional magazines like InStyle and Marie Claire are exiting the print market amid a backdrop of dwindling advertising revenues, a new player is entering it.
Nobu, the trendy restaurant and hotel chain founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, is launching an eponymous magazine later this year in partnership with Nobleman Magazine’s custom publishing division, which is seeing increased business from hoteliers.
The first issue of the quarterly magazine will be released in June and distributed at participating Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide, as well as be available for purchase through subscriptions, with editor in chief Kara Studzinski joking that when “guests have to wait 30 minutes even though they have a reservation at Nobu Malibu, they will have something nice to read.”
At the latest count, Nobu has 27 hotels open and announced 47 restaurants.
Of the venture, Trevor Horwell, CEO of Nobu Hospitality, said, “We’re delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Nobleman Magazine and to be launching the first edition of our very own Nobu Magazine. Available across Nobu Hotels worldwide, the magazine will give readers exclusive access to the world of Nobu Hospitality, as well as editorial content spanning gastronomy, travel and style.”
Brand magazines surged in popularity as a marketing tool in 2019, with retailer Uniqlo, dating app Bumble, fashion platform Ssense and golf equipment company Callaway, among others, all entering the market. They joined fashion site Net-a-porter, sneaker resale company Goat, home rental marketplace Airbnb and luggage brand Away, which had already launched magazines.
For brands, these magazines were not so much about revenue as they were about engagement, viewed as a way of building a deeper connection with a company’s audience, as well as reaching out to new consumers. But since the pandemic began it has been a mixed picture. Of the 10 brands that WWD reached out to in a 2021 survey, half (Airbnb, Away, Bumble, Goop and Net-a-porter) had ceased print production for now, while the other five (Goat, Maapilim, Ssense, Tracy Anderson and Uniqlo) are still going strong, finding that having a print magazine is a positive and useful extension of their brand. — KATHRYN HOPKINS
Return of Butt Magazine
Thanks to Bottega Veneta, Butt magazine is relaunching next month.
Ten years after its last print issue, the quarterly magazine founded in 2001 for gay men and edited by Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom, will return with its 30th issue and the Italian luxury brand as its sole advertiser.
“As a brand, sometimes you want to support something that you simply have a belief in and a fondness for — Butt Magazine is one of those things,” said a Bottega Veneta spokesperson. “It has a meaning for many who work for Bottega Veneta, who grew up with the magazine and loved its cheeky view of the world. For many of us, no matter where we grew up on the globe, it made us feel at home. We hope it can do the same for a new generation.”
The issue will be fêted by a prelaunch at a Bottega Veneta and Butt cocktail and dinner at Palais de Tokyo on March 3, during Paris Fashion Week.
The magazine will then be on sale in a Bottega Veneta and Butt K67 kiosk installation by Slovenian industrial designer Saša J. Mächtig at the modern and contemporary art building for a period of three days, with the first visitors receiving a special Butt x Bottega Veneta edition T-shirt. The 100-page magazine will then be available in other select stores worldwide and for order online.
Also, a Butt party will be organized in the French capital on March 4, thrown in collaboration with Paris party crew Mustang, featuring DJ sets by Juan Ramos, DJs Pareja and Kiddy Smile. Bottega Veneta has also confirmed launch events in London March 10 to 17 at the Shreeji bookstore and on April 7 in Los Angeles.
The magazine will continue to be in its signature pink color, stapled and fitting in one hand, returning to provide an outspoken platform for “a queer community in flux,” according to a Butt statement. “Butt’s surprise rebirth this spring begins a new conversation focused on cross-community solidarity and sexual freedom. While queer visibility may be at an all-time high, Butt’s candid intergenerational dialogues about contemporary life and love have been sorely missing these past 10 years.”
Articles included in the issue range from a story on French cinema actor Félix Maritaud to an interview with hairstylist Holli Smith. It includes poetry and diaries, the work of artists Ajamu X and Sunil Gupta and an interview by artist AA Bronson with transgender adult actor Billy Vega, among other articles.
The cover was lensed by American photographer Clifford Prince King.
This is among the first steps in marketing and communication under the tenure of creative director Matthieu Blazy, who succeeded Daniel Lee last November and who will present his first designs for the brand on Feb. 26 during Milan Fashion Week.
Under his predecessor, Bottega Veneta deleted its official Instagram account last year and other social media, also wiping its Weibo account — which had 270,000 followers — and other feeds. It went on to explore an alternative way to engage with its collaborators and worldwide audience with a new, visually focused digital journal called Issue, to be published four times a year. It is understood that Issue is being evolved by the company. — LUISA ZARGANI