Eric Musgrave

Since 1980, menswear & fashion retail commentator, opinionated thought-leader,
event host & all-round top bloke. Contact me to discuss working together.

The launch issue of For Him magazine

It was around Eastertime in 1985 that the first edition of For Him magazine appeared, distributed solely on a complimentary basis through menswear shops. It was the first of the modern crop of so-called men’s style magazines. I was the launch editor. I have scanned here all of its 32 pages and covers.

For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 001

To clear up a popular misconception, For Him was never a trade magazine. As these pages show, it was always aimed at the consumer. It was the brainchild of Chris Astridge, who was the owner and publisher. We also produced a menswear trade magazine called MAB News. Chris’ view was that the days of fashion trade mags were numbered as the number of independent fashion shops was declining. Advertisers wanted to reach the end-consumers and that’s what For Him was designed to do. Its rather clunky name is an English translation of Per Lui, an Italian fashion title of the period.

For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 002

The idea was to produce a style guide, a celebration of good clothes and good dressing, with the American title Esquire of the 1960s our most obvious inspiration. To circumvent the reluctance of national newspaper chains to stock this new magazine, and to get round a possible reluctance of British men to pay for a fashion publication, Chris hit on the idea of distributing the mag for free (note there is no cover price) only through independent menswear shops. This distribution served For Him well for several years and even when a cover price was added and it was sold via W H Smith and the rest, menswear shops still stocked For Him. 

For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 003 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 004 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 005 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 006 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 007 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 008 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 009 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 010 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 011 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 012 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 013 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 014 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 015 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 016 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 017 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 018 For Him launch issue Spring Summer 85 019

We published For Him every six months; I was the editor of the first three editions, from Spring Summer 85 to Spring Summer 86, before leaving to work in the Netherlands for International Textiles magazine..

For Him 02 Autumn Winter 85 Issue 2 For Him 03 Spring Summer 86 Issue 3 001

I returned to be the editor for most of 1990, by which time the magazine was well established and had been joined by Arena and GQ, and was soon to have Esquire as a competitor also. Chris eventually sold For Him Magazine to Emap in 1994 and it was quickly converted in to an amazingly successful “lads’ mag”, which, as these pages show, was quite different to our original concept.

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