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Stand-Out Covers From "The Advocate"

Capturing GQ's Evolution Through Its Covers

 

Toreador_GQ.Oct1961

 

GQ began as a trade publication called Apparel Arts in the 1930s.  It was re-positioned as a consumer magazine in the late 1950s and re-named Gentleman's Quarterly; it was re-branded once again in the late 1960s when it officially became known simply as GQ.  Covers from the 1950s and 1960s featured a varied mix of celebrities (e.g., Rock Hudson, Joe DiMaggio, Robert Goulet), jaunty models dressed like dandies and artistic covers with no models present.  Then in the 1970s a change in style had covers mostly depicting couples - but with the women more or less in the role of accessory.  

 

 

ApparelArts.Feb1957

  

Male models in close-up populated most covers beginning in the late '70s and continuing into the '80s.  Led by editor-in-chief Jack Haber, this was considered the magazine's overt gay phase and some say it peaked with the famous "New York Dazzle" cover.  (That was the first issue of the magazine I purchased.)

 

GQ_May1978
May 1978

 

 

NewYorkDazzle_GQNov1978
"New York Dazzle", November 1978

 

After Conde Nast acquired the publicaiton in 1979, GQ's editorial content was broadened to cover other facets of a man's life.  This was done to make it more palatable to a wider spectrum of advertisers, especially automakers in Detroit.  (And to make it more appealing to heterosexual readers.)  When it pitched itself to advertisers, GQ more or less instituted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy as it pertained to its gay readership

 

During this era, publisher Steve Florio, and editor Art Cooper took heat from its gay readership for turning its back on its core readers by giving the magazine somewhat of a scotch-and-cigars sensibility.  (When I worked in the media department of ad agency Young & Rubicam, I had a gay boss who loved to make GQ's director of ad sales squirm by asking him pointed questions about its gay readers.)

 

Arnold_GQJuly1986
Arnold Schwarzenegger, July 1986

  

 

FrankGifford_GQFeb84
Frank Gifford, February 1984

 

 

DonaldTrump_GQFeb85
Donald Trump, February 1985

  

 

Over the past 25 years, entertainers and sports stars, both male and female, have monopolized covers. (Tom Cruise has been on the cover seven times.)  Actresses first appeared "unchaperoned" in the early 1990s (Julia Roberts being the first).  By the end of the decade, they were appearing regularly (three to four issues each year), wearing less clothes and showing more cleavage - most likely in response to "laddie" magazines such as Maxim - drumming home the point that "we're not just for gay guys anymore".  GQ (whose editor-in-chief from 2003-2018, Jim Nelson, was openly gay) was influential in transforming heterosexual men into metrosexuals.

 

JuliaRoberts_GQ.Feb1991

 

JenniferLopez_GQDec02
Jennifer Lopez, December 2002

 

 

PenelopeCruz_GQFeb2000
Penelope Cruz, February 2000


      

Here are some of my favorite covers from the old days (1980s): 

 

JeffAquilon_GQMay1982
Jeff Aquilon, May 1982

 

Baryshnikov_GQNov1985
Mikhail Baryshnikov, November 1985

 

GQ_Jan1981

 

Armand_Assante_GQ
December 1991

 

   

Here are some celebs in their younger, and then more mature, days as shown by their GQ covers.  First, Robert DeNiro in 1991 and 2007, and then Jeff Bridges in 1986 and 2010.

 

RobertDeNiro_GQJan1991
January 1991, at age 47

 

RobertDeNiro_GQJan2007
January 2007, at age 63

 

JeffBridges_GQJune1986
June 1986, at age 37

 

JeffBridges-GQDec10
December 2010, at age 62

  

 

And the debonair Sean Connery in 1966 and 1989; Cary Grant in 1962 and 1986.

 

SeanConnery_GQApril66
April 1966, at age 35

 

SeanConnery_GQJuly1989
1989, at age 58

    

 

CaryGrant_Sept1962
September 1962, at age 58

 

CaryGrant_GQJan1986
January 1986, at age 82

 

The magazine now has a metrosexual vibe throughout its pages and serves the 21st century interests of both gay and straight men fairly well. In closing, here are some "eye candy" covers from the past 20 years:

 

BenAffleck_Feb98_GQ
February 1998

 

MattDamon_GQDec1999
December 1999

 

Heath_Ledger_June01GQ
June 2001

 

Jake_gyllenhaal_June04GQ
June 2004

 

ColinFarrell_GQNov2004
November 2004

 

TomBrady_Sept05GQ
September 2005

 

TaylorLautner_GQ2010
November 2010

 

 Channing.tatum.GQ

 

RyanGosling_GQJan11
January 2011

 

Colin.kaepernick.Sept2013.GQ
SF 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Sept. 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

   

 

 

 

 

To review all of GQ's covers between 1957-2007: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/gq

 

Comments

PopCultureMngr

You know Ben Affleck is mortified that he is the only "dude" to show so much skin on GQ.

Robafry

Yeah, quite a departure from the typical GQ cover - it looks more like a cover of Hx. The staff photographer must have been on vacation that day.

Karla Fennimore

Name of model on cover of May 1978?

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