Esquire opts for 'red-blooded' relaunch

Men’s monthly Esquire has relaunched with a new roster of high-profile columnists poached from rival GQ.

Editor Alex Bilmes has promised to deliver a magazine that is “bigger, bolder and more consumer-focused than it has ever been before”.

Bilmes said: “The magazine is completely changed, we’ve got new members of staff, new writers, new design, new sections and a whole new attitude.”

NatMag appointed Bilmes, former GQ features editor, as editor in December last year, replacing Jeremy Langmead who left in September. Bilmes had previously worked at GQ for ten years.

Former GQ contributing editors AA Gill, Giles Coren and Tom Parker Bowles are included in the new line-up of Esquire writers.

“They represent the very best of British journalism. I stole them from GQ when I left,” Bilmes said.

Other new writers include Will Self, Geoff Dyer, Mark Hix, Mick Brown, Tim Adams and Andrew O’Hagan. Former editor of The Face Johnny Davis has been recruited as deputy editor and former Esquire editors Dan Davies and Jeremy Langmead have new roles as contributing editors.

Describing the new look Bilmes said: “We feel that the original mission of men’s magazines – to entertain and amaze with sharp writing, groundbreaking design and startling photography – had been unaccountably ignored of late, and that a combination of authoritative style advice and incisive journalism still has a place in the world…

“I am very proud of the new Esquire. It is stylish, intelligent, commercial and unapologetically red-blooded.”

In the second half of last year sales of Esquire were flat year on year at just under 60,000 a month compared to just over 120,000 for rival GQ (which was also level year on year).

Describing the rivalry between the two titles, Bilmes said: “It’s just friendly competition, we’re not at war, but I want to beat them. I want to sell more than them, I want to win more awards than them. That’s our job, and neither of us will rest.”

The new look for Esquire was masterminded by creative director David McKendrick.

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