MEDIA PROFILE: Tailor-made for Loaded lads - Beth Summers, editor, Loaded Fashion

’Boys have always loved clothes. For them it is an aspirational thing, a kind of one-upmanship,’ says Beth Summers, editor of Loaded’s new fashion spin-off, Loaded Fashion.

’Boys have always loved clothes. For them it is an aspirational

thing, a kind of one-upmanship,’ says Beth Summers, editor of Loaded’s

new fashion spin-off, Loaded Fashion.



Summers, who has been Loaded’s fashion editor since the title was

launched in 1994, says she spotted the opportunity for a solid,

non-elitist men’s fashion title some years ago.



’It was a question of getting the timing right. One or two years ago it

might not have worked, but the high street menswear market is expanding

rapidly, and men now have a lot more freedom when it comes to buying

clothes.’



The idea behind the biannual title is to produce a magazine with a broad

appeal with an emphasis on mainly British fashion. The first issue hit

the newsstands on 26 August, only four months after IPC set the

project’s wheels in motion. Working against the clock with an art

director and a few contributors, Summers was single-minded about what

she wanted to produce.



’I wouldn’t like it to be referred to as a ’lifestyle’ magazine, but I

wanted to show that fashion can be broader than people think, and that

it can make an interesting read,’ she says.



With Loaded Fashion, Summers says she wants to establish a separate

identity by toning down the ’laddish’ slant and adding an element of

sophistication.



’I want it to be humourous without being anal, to get away from bare

breasts and to attract a broad range of people, young and old, without

singling out a particular type of reader,’ she says.



Summers suspects that, as a woman and a single mother working with a

team of ’young lads’, her reputation is a bit of a mixed bag. ’I joined

Loaded when it was just beginning, and I had already been around the

industry for a long time. I would probably be described as

single-minded, and it has certainly taken a lot of stamping of feet to

get this magazine off the ground,’ she says.



Before joining Loaded, Summers had taken two years’ maternity leave

after studying fine arts and working as fashion editor for iD

magazine.



With just two issues a year, she feels she can afford to be

demanding.



’I would rather have two brilliant issues than four not-so-brilliant

ones, and am quite determined to re-shoot and turn copy down until I get

what I want.’



She says the next issue may be larger than the first edition’s 162 pages

but, preferring to work hands-on with a small team, she plans to rely on

freelancers rather than recruit any more permanent members of staff.



The first issue was launched with the help of an extensive press

campaign, and Summers is now waiting for the public’s response before

she decides how the next issue is going to look. If the magazine can

achieve a quarter of Loaded’s half-million sales, she says she will be

happy.



In the meantime, Summers says she is open to suggestions as far as the

editorial content is concerned, and would welcome approaches from PR

people.



’We are on completely unknown territory, and I will look at any ideas as

long as they are slightly different, have an emphasis on humour and

fashion, and have a six-month appeal - but I do not want the magazine

itself to become a promotional tool.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1986 - Fashion editor, iD



1994 - Fashion editor, Loaded



1998 - Editor, Loaded Fashion.



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