It isn’t every day fresh ideas find a home in print and on newsstands. The adage that “print is dead,” which echoes through the halls of journalism schools and perhaps even within the storied halls of the New York Times, is far from new. And yet there are independent magazines, tailoring to niche audiences, popping up in the newsstands of cultural hubs. Hello Mr. is one of those bold ideas.
Ryan Fitzgibbon is the founder, editor, and publisher of Hello Mr., which is dedicated to “men who date men.” The small magazine reads more like a literary journal, filled with thought-provoking essays and quirky imagery, more so than its other gay media competitors. “Gay men are portrayed in a handful of ways across media outlets, but it tends to be the clichés that seem to make their way to the image below the headline,” says Fitzgibbon. “I launched Hello Mr. boldly claiming it as my attempt at ‘rebranding gay media.’”
Despite Fitzgibbon’s revolutionary mentality, don’t expect an in-your-face tone. There is a coy softness to the magazine with subjects that are both eye-catching and understated. The third issue’s cover “Mister” (as Fitzgibbon refers to them) is Dan Donigan, known to most as Milk from LOGO TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Other subjects include the American soccer star, Robbie Rogers and the illustrator Richard Haines. It is clear that as the magazine grows, so does the caliber of subjects.
Hello Mr. also upped its fashion game for the new issue. The stories, styled by Ian Bradley and Seth Howard, are playful and represent a simple something that readers can relate to. “Just as the content reflects what our readers are experiencing, the brands that we chose to showcase must also be representative of what the Hello Mr. reader might wear,” says Fitzgibbon. What the reader wants to wear is clear. Howard’s floral story features rising menswear stars like Ernest Alexander, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen and denim powerhouse, PRPS. Meanwhile, Bradley’s raw story centering on things left behind by former lovers evokes French romance with brands like agnes B., Saint Laurent, and A.P.C. The clothes, like everything in the magazine, are all about unfussy indulgence.
“The luxury of depth in the personal narratives of this new generation of gay males was long overdue,” says Fitzgibbon. “Hello Mr. is an opportunity to step away from the stereotypes.”
Hello Mr. is available in select specialty retailers throughout the world and online starting today.
Words: Max McCormack/Selectism.com
Max McCormack is a writer and fashion publicist in New York City. A global traveler, when not pitching brands, producing shows, and discovering New York’s most vivacious locations, Max is found knee-deep in Sallinger or Sedaris, waiting for his connecting flight. Follow his adventures @maxmccormack.