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FRANCO-PHILE: James Franco appears on the cover of the latest issue of British GQ Style, the twice-yearly, stand-alone title that lands on newsstands today. It is the first edited by Ben Reardon, who landed at Condé Nast U.K. last year after leaving the helm of i-D. Reardon calls Franco a modern icon, “the new James Dean,” and dedicates no less than 5,000 words to the actor, short-story writer, filmmaker and Gucci poster boy. Inside, Franco takes on a number of guises including rebel, wearing a dangly skull-and-bone earring; a leather-clad Adam Ant, and giant pullout centerfold model wearing black nail polish, a vintage coat and Gucci belt. Photos were shot by Ines van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
The magazine, whose audience has an average age of 32, also features a story on Gore Vidal, penned by the novelist and editor Jay Parini, and a photo shoot with the beefy British boxer David Haye wearing — wait for this — designs by Gareth Pugh. “I wanted the title to be opera and X factor, a balance of high and low — and I didn’t want to scare anybody,” says Reardon. “You look at men’s biannuals and they can be alienating. I want this to be inspiring.”
According to Condé Nast UK, ads are up 23 percent year-on-year, and new advertisers include Giorgio Armani, Hermès, and Dunhill. Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Margaret Howell are among the returning advertisers.
— Samantha Conti