Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What Guys Want

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I picked up a copy of the premiere issue of CARGO, the men's version of Lucky magazine.


I've been a fan of Lucky from the beginning. The main purpose of women's magazines is to deliver their audiences to the advertisers. Magazines such as Vogue often have a disconnect between articles on social and political issues on one hand and opulent fashion spreads on the other. (Yes, I know that I'm writing this after sending two messages to The Style Page e-group about the terrorist attacks in Madrid - a member from Malaysia unsuscribed that day. Coincidence?) Lucky, I think, is much more honest in that it dispenses with everything except delivering the audience to its advertisers.

But anyway, back to Cargo. Whereas Lucky focuses on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, Cargo focuses on "Tech" (consumer electronics), Style, Cars, and Culture. "Culture" here is a catchall that encompasses interior decoration and food & drink, as "culture" on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is a catchall that includes etiquette and nice manners. Another difference is that Cargo is much more wordy than Lucky - are guys really more concerned with how things perform, while women are more concerned with how things look, or is that just a myth?

I was rather turned off by the blatant approach to sex in Cargo. There is a short feature on the Trovata clothing design team, whose T-shirts and cargo pants feature "nudie" graphics, another feature on buying roses that says that peach-colored roses mean "Sheer lust, Baby," and lastly, a feature on what to wear on a third date, as many women say that they'd go to bed with a man by the third date.

I can't resist bringing up Queer Eye again. The thing that I like about Queer Eye, and what I suspect that many other women like, is that it's about pleasing the woman in one's life and romance. Cargo, on the other hand, is more about getting laid.

BTW Cargo's interior design feature was done by Thom Filicia, Queer Eye's "Design Doctor," who just signed a contact to serve as a spokesman for Pier 1.