MORE THAN HOT WOMEN: The Hot 100 is now the Hot List.
Under editor in chief Kate Lanphear’s direction, Maxim’s traditional Hot 100 list, which formerly featured nearly naked women chosen by the magazine’s readers, is now an all-inclusive lifestyle list that includes summer films, travel destinations, restaurants and trendy beverages.
“I was really determined with the issue to try and redefine what hot means for the brand. For me, the barometer of hot isn’t just beauty; it’s relevance,” said Lanphear, who joined the team last September, after serving as style director at T: The New York Times Style Magazine. “Our audience likes to look at beautiful things and, among them, beautiful women, but they are interested in so much more than that.”
Cover girl Taylor Swift, who was shot by photographer Thomas Whiteside, was chosen by readers, but Lanphear said the pop star was also her number-one choice.
“She was my dream cover, and she was chosen based on her accomplishments and upcoming projects. Taylor is hot in every sense of the word,” Lanphear said.
Swift landed the number-one spot, but the list is no longer numbered, according to Lanphear. Instead, 100 female entertainers are organized by different subcategories based on their achievements and work. Comedian Amy Schumer and actress Monica Bellucci, the first 50-year-old to make the cut — Bellucci will debut later this year as a Bond girl in the James Bond film “Spectre” — are also on the list. On the male side, actor Miles Teller, film director Terrence Malick and comedian Pete Davidson are represented.
Lanphear is four issues in, and her covers, close-in shots of women such as singer Charli XCX and model Lily Aldridge, are in stark contrast to Maxim’s former “lad mag” image. She told WWD the redesign has resonated with readers. “Seventy percent of our current readers prefer the redesign,” she said.
Newsstand sales reflect a different story. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, Maxim’s newsstand sales amounted to 75,000 in March and 63,000 in February. This compares with a year ago, when March print newsstand sales were 77,658 and January/February 2014 sales were 87,787.
Lanphear said that a decline is to be expected with a rebrand but she’s seen positive numbers with the rate of subscriptions, which she said have increased dramatically, as well as the Web site traffic, which has gone up by 25 percent month over month since the rebrand, according to Lanphear.
“We are a brand that’s committed to change,” she said.
The issue hits newsstands on May 27.