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Vogue Man Hong Kong Debuts With ‘Parasite’ Star Park Seo Jun Covers
March 29, 2021
LONDON — Vogue Hong Kong will release the first issue of its men’s wear offering Vogue Man on Monday, with “Parasite” star Park Seo Jun on the two covers, wearing Louis Vuitton designed by Virgil Abloh on both.
The local edition, a licensing deal between Condé Nast and Rubicon Media Ltd., revealed last October that the biannual title will be released together with the April and September issues of Vogue Hong Kong, making it the sixth Vogue men’s title following Vogue Hommes in France, L’Uomo Vogue in Italy and Vogue Man in Arabia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.
Grant Pearce, creative director of Vogue Man Hong Kong, said it takes some courage to launch a title at a very difficult time. Having worked on the launches of GQ in Australia, Japan and China, Pearce is a former veteran at Condé Nast. He left the company at the end of 2019 and moved back to Sydney from Shanghai.
“I got a very lovely response from Mr. Giorgio Armani, for example, who basically was so happy to see a men’s magazine launching rather than closing. I feel like that’s what in general, globally, people are very supportive of — something that is trying to ignite fashion interest, and support fashion but in a traditional way.
“The supports have been pretty good if you look at the advertisers.…It’s pretty strong, and it also suggests that people aren’t giving up on Hong Kong, people are actually supporting Hong Kong and I think that’s a wonderful message to go into the market. Hong Kong is a really great city and we want to see it continue to be a great city,” Pearce said.
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He added that although the cover choice is not his decision to make, it sends a clear message that this local edition aims to “resonate beyond Hong Kong.” To wit, Park is one of the most followed South Korean actors on Instagram with 17.56 million fans.
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The issue also features model Jordan Barrett, the new “Gossip Girl” star Evan Mock, Thai romantic comedy-drama “2Gether” lead actors Metawin Opas-iamkajorn and Vachirawit Chiva-aree, as well as emerging Hong Kong actor Terrance Lau.
“Right now, from a fashion, music, and developmental point of view, I think [South] Korea is forging ahead. Yes, it could have been someone from Hong Kong on the cover, of course, but I felt that…it was all about how do we break into the market, and one of the important things we all have to think about right now is how do you get out of domestic and go international,” he said.
Pearce acknowledged that Vogue Man Hong Kong is looking to present a new narrative in the market because local competitors like Tatler have put a lot of Hong Kong celebrities and personalities on the cover.
“You want to look different because it’s very easy to look the same. There are already strong men’s titles in Hong Kong,” he added. “If you look at the contents of the fashion pages in particular. It’s a very strong group of emerging talents, and they all agreed to be a part of it because we did go on a global concept. We really wanted to try and get people who were successful in their own right, and that’s what we wanted to achieve with the mix of celebrity in there.”
With strong and forward-thinking local fashion consumption in the city, Pearce also thinks that a Vogue Man concept is more appropriate in the Hong Kong market than a general interest title.
“I think niche products are much more appropriate than general because men who have become much more confident in their attitude, in the way they dress and groom. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a GQ in the same market. It’s a different consumer,” he said. “Also if you think about the retail sector in Hong Kong, stores like I.T. and Joyce have been so strong and supportive of men’s designer fashion. Those are the customers who will buy this magazine.”
The title is run with a small team. Pearce hopes that the first issue will be well received, and Vogue Man Hong Kong can eventually develop its own presence across all channels.
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