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Jacques – “a kitschy vintage throwback to pin-up magazines of the 1960s and 1970s”

In a darkly-lit cheap motel, photographer Jonathan Leder encourages a young female model posing semi-naked in a bath to lean toward the camera.

If that image of a nude young woman seems a tired cliché and a cheap way to sell magazines, the makers of Jacques would beg to differ. For rival publishers it might pay to listen, because Jacques is breaking a downward trend in periodical publishing, where cost-cutting is the norm.

And publishers might be surprised to hear Jacques is not a fashion magazine, but an adult publication that aims to be a kitschy vintage throwback to pin-up magazines of the 1960s and 1970s with centrefolds of models such as a topless woman posing on a vintage motorcycle.

“It’s a question of quality,” Leder, the magazine’s creative director, said of the reason Jacques had increased in popularity while other magazines were failing.

“Unfortunately, publishers, like many other people in this day and age, seem to think, ‘why not, if we can do it cheaper, let’s just do it cheaper and sell it for less’.”

The Jacques mantra: spend a little on quality, and your book will sell for more – to more people.

In a publishing climate where magazines have struggled with the rise of the internet, Jacques launched in May 2009, a year that would see about 282 magazines fold in the first nine months.

Just 1 000 copies of Jacques were printed on its first run, of which 175 were sold. The new issue has a print run of 14 000, is sold at bookstores and has an overseas distributor.

By contrast, Playboy’s traditional magazine business has been hard hit by declining circulation and advertising revenue as people turn to free pornography on the internet.


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