September 22, 2023

HommeGirls, the unbiased journal and attire model based by designer Thakoon Panichgul, has snagged its greatest cowl star but — Kylie Jenner.

On sale on Could 4, the difficulty has 4 further covers, starring fashions Emily Ratajkowski, Kiko Mizuhara, Paloma Elesser and Alek Wek. However spotlighting a star of Jenner’s magnitude — and the truth that it was her workforce that approached the publication first, in response to artistic director Jen Brill — marks the beginning of HommesGirls’ subsequent stage, Panichgul mentioned.

Since its launch in 2019, HommeGirls has gone from secret Instagram to insider-favourite journal and on-line publication. However whereas the arrival of a brand new print publication is uncommon sufficient, one which’s rising and commercially profitable is much more so. Its viewers remains to be small — on-line, it has 30,000 distinctive guests month-to-month; its print circulation is 90,000 — however the firm is worthwhile, and income grew 85 % year-over-year from 2021 to 2022. These numbers are boosted by its attire enterprise, which sells shirts, boxers, trench coats and upcycled tees, and noticed its stockists double in 2022.

On the content material aspect, HommeGirls has constructed the enterprise by focussing on a particular point-of-view — ladies carrying males’s or menswear-inspired clothes — and constantly signing new luxurious advertisers. So far, the journal has labored with Chanel, Nike, Calvin Klein, Ferragamo, Levi’s and Marc Jacobs Heaven. Chanel Magnificence, Celine and J.Crew are sponsoring spreads within the April concern. In product, HommeGirls has slowly however deliberately grown its attire assortment, which is now stocked at retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Web-a-Porter.

“We outlined HommeGirls so properly, and so distinctly, now it’s about making an attempt to determine the methods wherein we are able to type of broaden the group,” mentioned Panichgul.

An Reply to Trickle-Down Style

HommeGirls is one thing of a comeback engine for Panichgul, a star of 2000s vogue. After a number of makes an attempt to reinvent his Thakoon label, together with a reboot with backing from investor Silas Chou in 2016 and a 2019 team-up with DTC cashmere model Naadam to relaunch Thakoon as a lower-price digital label. (Panichgul has since parted methods with the corporate, and Naadam didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Thakoon’s present operations.)

Panichgul began HommeGirls as a ardour mission after noticing modern feminine mates utilizing males’s garments to create a each day uniform. It was a mode sensibility he didn’t really feel was getting sufficient consideration from current publications and retailers. The idea, he thought, was particular however nonetheless wealthy and expansive.

Its editorials really feel off the cuff and exhibit private type and parsed-back appears to be like. Artistic director Brill sums up the vibe as a “white Hanes T-shirt and a Chanel jacket.” Interviews typically spotlight creatives who embody the fluid-dressing philosophy: designer Martine Rose and French stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington within the final concern, which additionally featured a 16-page unfold on white button-downs as a cultural drive.

“We’re large believers in letting our instincts and intestine drive issues … Discovery is a big a part of the publication for us: new voices, new factors of view; We’re relentless and obsessed relating to these issues,” mentioned Brill.

The journal informs Panichgul’s edited-down clothes designs and offers a platform to showcase the clothes. Having the publication function a information has helped Panichgul create easy, refined items and reel in overproduction. The consequence, he mentioned, is garments individuals need to put on with considerably much less overhead than his earlier companies. Promote-throughs sit above a mean of 75 %.

“I take note of the group round me. [Reaching people] isn’t about a marketing strategy after which working your method down from projections and pretend numbers … that’s a false promise,” mentioned Panichgul.

The enterprise mannequin is a match for right this moment’s circumstances, which make it tough for {a magazine} to exist on advert {dollars} alone. In vogue, unbiased manufacturers wrestle to face out on the runway as compared with luxurious’s largest gamers. Model storytelling by the journal and its channels higher matches right this moment’s dynamic the place customers come throughout manufacturers themselves on-line, mentioned Panichgul.

“[Fashion] was actually about runway displays and having the ability to appeal to a handful of gamers, and as soon as you probably did that, there was a trickle-down impact,” he mentioned. “I simply don’t assume that exists anymore.”

HommeGirls Seems Forward

Panichgul mentioned that over the previous 4 years, he prioritised shoring up DTC, ensuring he understood his client and crafting a robust, identifiable storytelling type within the journal that attracted individuals who already had an inherent understanding of its perspective. An enormous a part of that’s having the ability to throw issues on the wall and “seeing the place the chips fall,” mentioned Brill. The Kylie cowl, which for some readers can be surprising, is one instance.

Now, the model is able to choose up the tempo of development in each content material and commerce.

Panichgul desires to bolster the editorial workforce — including extra full-time workers and contributors — so HommeGirls can do extra partnerships and discover new content material fashions. Within the final yr, the corporate has employed a brand new options director, vogue director and managing director, and the masthead for Difficulty 9 included practically 30 names. Already, the corporate has carried out brand-focused mini-issues, concern inserts and bodily activations.

Panichgul, who didn’t take traders initially so he might agency up the imaginative and prescient on his personal, is now open to an injection, however he’s in search of true HommeGirls believers, those that perceive the enterprise mannequin and see its potential.

“It’s actually necessary we take note of development trajectory and seize on momentum after we can,” mentioned Panichgul. “I need individuals who consider within the model; I don’t need simply cash.’”