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French ‘Playboy’ reborn for the ‘heterosexual bastard’

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-09-05

“Lui”, a French men’s magazine which has a similar format to Playboy, has returned to newsstands after a 19-year hiatus. Its publisher said the relaunch celebrated the “forgotten dinosaur called ‘the bloke’.”

France’s answer to Playboy “Lui” [Him] returned to French newsstands Thursday after a 19-year hiatus. The magazine’s relaunch carried features on politics and culture, a lot of advertising and a generous smattering of naked French actresses in soft porn poses.

Friday’s edition features cover-girl Léa Seydoux, star of the Palme d’Or winning “Blue is the Warmest Colour” (La vie d’Adèle for French audiences) who’s also worked with Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino.

A dozen arty yet blatantly titillating pictures accompany an in-depth interview with the 28-year-old starlet.

The old “Lui”, which was famous for its front covers featuring barely-clad beauties, reached its zenith in the 1980s and was finally closed down in 1994 after being a men’s favourite for 30 years.

Women readers?

The relaunch of “Lui”, with a circulation of 350,000 – including an extra 15,000 with an English-language supplement for overseas consumption – marks the return of a legendary lost title that has re-branded itself to accommodate women readers too, according to its editor.

“It’s a magazine that is quite clearly aimed at heterosexual men,” Yseult Williams, editor-in-chief and founder of Women’s magazine Grazia told reporters at the magazine’s launch event.

“But this is a magazine for men who like women, even if I’m convinced that many women will buy it to learn about the ‘enemy’. We’re expecting 70% of readers will be men, and the other 30% women,” she added.

Publisher Frédéric Beigbeder, in his editorial celebrating the resurrection of a lost title, was jubilant about the return of a formerly “macho” title in an age when the lines between the working and social lives of men and women had blurred.

“It feels like a lap of honour for that forgotten dinosaur called the ‘bloke’, the man who went out to pick up women, the man who is best termed the ‘heterosexual bastard’,” he said.

Date created : 2013-09-05

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