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Japan Man

Hedi Slimane is in Tokyo shooting Vogue Hommes Japan's debut cover but his involvement with the new magazine doesn't end there.

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Hedi Slimane is in Tokyo shooting Vogue Hommes Japan's debut cover but his involvement with the new magazine doesn't end there. He is also serving as the magazine's male muse as it gears up for its Sept. 10 launch. "In the men's fashion world there was a big change from 2000 when Hedi Slimane started at Dior Homme. There was fashion before Hedi Slimane and there was fashion after Hedi Slimane," said Kazuhiro Saito, editor in chief of Vogue Nippon and the new men's spin-off. "There were those very skinny, boyish male models. That works for Japanese guys."

To wit, Slimane probably won't have to look far to generate his 20-page spread: a fashion shoot and a story probing the question, "Who is the Model Man?" On Monday night, Slimane will trade in his lens for turntables at Tokyo club Super Deluxe, where he is throwing a party with Dazed & Confused, another title he's helped shape.

Initially, Vogue Hommes Japan will publish twice a year and aims to boost its frequency over time. The book has a roster of bold-faced contributors including fashion director Nicola Formichetti, of Dazed & Confused, and art director Markus Kiersztan, who has collaborated with Nike, Yohji Yamamoto, Uniqlo and several others. Much of the magazine's regular staff and resources partially overlap with that of Vogue Nippon. [Vogue Hommes Japan and Vogue Nippon are published by Condé Nast International.]

Saito said he, Formichetti and Kiersztan are eager to develop a men's fashion magazine created by men, as opposed to France Sozzani's L'Uomo Vogue and Carine Roitfeld's Vogue Hommes International. "I spoke with Markus and Nicola and we agree these two magazines are very women-driven men's magazines," Saito said.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast Japan is gearing up to launch Glamour this summer. The magazine will be a close cousin to the French version of the magazine with a varied and democratic approach to fashion, targeting the lucrative 25- to 30-year-old "office lady" demographic, according to editor in chief Sayumi Gunji. Lifestyle stories on sex, dieting and dating will round out the offering.

"Office ladies have so much money...they are [such] active consumers in Japan," she said, noting the propensity for young Japanese women to accessorize their domestic brand workwear with designer handbags.

Glamour Japan is entering a crowded field of mass-market fashion mags including AneCan, Oggi, Sweet and Glamorous, where Gunji previously worked as fashion editor. Still, she thinks there is space for another title in the category especially since much of the competition focuses on tame, conservative workwear. "We want to combine every style into one magazine," she said.