What do you get when you cross impeccable style with editorial wit and flawless manners? It would look a lot like The Gentlemen’s Journal, a site and print magazine that covers the latest in men’s style and grooming, food and drink, business, lifestyle, culture, sports, restaurants, nightlife, travel, power – and offers intriguing private interviews with popular public figures. And what’s not to love about that?
We caught up with the founder and editor of The Gentlemen’s Journal, Harry Jarman, to find out more about his hybrid print/digital/e-commerce venture, why he believes men’s fashion is poised to overtake women’s fashion in a few years, and what separates the bad from the good in brand advertising.
You’re one of the founders of The Gentlemen’s Journal. What inspired you to start a men’s magazine? Originally I had started a men's swimwear brand and wanted to find a place to advertise that would hit my target audience, however found that most publications were much too expensive. With this at the forefront of my mind I decided to set up a men's blog, somewhere where I could advertise freely and received great responses and a real following. This then evolved into a men's print magazine, and what you see today, I believe that people were looking for something different in the menswear world - for real sophistication, aimed at a real gentleman.
The Gentlemen’s Journal is also a print publication – how do print and digital fit together in your business? I understand there are lots of discussions stating that digital advertising is taking over, however, what has been shown in the last 6 months is that advertisers are looking for a 360 model and print will always have a strong place. Print can targeted to a particular audience but digital is not only much cheaper but wider reaching- both have pluses and minuses. They ultimately work the best alongside each other.
Men's style sites are on fire. Why do you think it's finally time? Men's fashions sales are forecasted to over take women’s in 5 years. Men have been told how to shop previously, but now men are telling retailers how they want to shop and what they want. With male only stores popping up everywhere, It is clear where the brands are aiming. Retailers have had to realise that they is much more of a market for menswear than they previously thought- men can no longer be forgotten.
Who are your readers? Describe The Gentlemen’s Journal man… Our Gentleman's Journal print distribution goes to some of the Highest Net Worth individuals in the world, whereas our digital readers are a much, much broader, larger and varied audience. I like to think that The Gentleman's Journal man enjoys the finer things in life but also realises that money isn’t everything and lives by the mantra, that manners maketh the man. While the sight is aspirational, I don't want the message to by that you have to be rich to be a gentleman, as this certainly isn't the case.
Style, Gear, Travel, Property, Watches… What are your most popular posts? None of the above! We find that posts on relationships, or anything to do with etiquette are the most successful as men love to learn and often tend to research a lot more than women on these subjects. Men need reassurance and have less sources available to them for these discussions.
You feature interviews of popular public figures. What are some of your most popular interviews? Richard Branson was our most popular interview. Our readers have a vested interest in him and many see him as a global icon and therefore respect his advice when looking to start their own businesses. He has become a idol for many entrepreneurs.
What are some luxury styles you're especially enjoying right now? How about the flip side of that – what needs to go? I believe that overpriced objects need to go, some companies/brands think that the more expensive the item is the more luxurious, however, true luxury is the best product at the best price. It should save you time and give you the very best possible service. Something that should stay is luxury services in travel, those services that go above and beyond, that luxury. I should also say I hate the word luxury, as it's far to over used.
You're based in London – what does that bring to the party style-wise? London is the home of men’s tailoring, in fact home to men's style full stop. With two of the most iconic streets in men’s fashion, Savile Row and Jermyn Street, London has a certain romance that no city can emulate. It is renowned for creating some of the best items in a man's wardrobe, as far as I am concerned it's the men's fashion capital of the world.
How do you like to work with brands and advertisers? That's a very interesting question and one that doesn’t have one answer. Brands prefer for publications to write about them in a positive way, however with such digital platforms popping up everywhere, positive paid for editorial content is become normal. I believe in some way it is diluting what third party magazines stand for and what magazine can do for a brand. We like to be extremely creative, we understand what a brand is about and what they want by matching them editorially or involving them in partnerships that represent their ethos. The main thing to remember in this fast moving world, is your reader has to respect you, as if they don't respect you, they won't respect the brand. This is what will separate the good and the bad in the future.
What other men's sites and publications do you follow? Who else is doing it right? Lots of people are doing certain things right but personally, I don’t think anyone has yet mastered the right balance and neither have we... we are still working on it, it changes daily.
How do you think about the connection between content and commerce? What do readers want? Content and commerce has never been closer but male readers especially want opinions from a brand, a clear voice about brands that are well respected in order to make their buying decisions. With e-commerce sites specifically, it is about traffic, product sites with the obvious exceptions mainly have low traffic and this is where editorial sites can help.
How would you finish this sentence: A gentleman always…… asks.
The Gentlemen’s Journal is a Say Media UK content partner. Follow Harry and The Gentlemen’s Journal on Twitter @thegentsjournal.
[Photos via The Gentlemen's Journal]