Newly Appointed Editor-in-Chief Lays Out Plans for a Refreshed GQ

New York, NY—January 10, 2019—Newly appointed GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch today launched his first issue of GQ, the February Music Issue, featuring Frank Ocean on the cover. The new issue is, as Welch writes in his inaugural editor’s letter, “the opening salvo for a new era.” He goes on to detail what readers can expect from his refreshed version of the brand: “You’ll see that the pages are packed with dynamic storytelling and a cover-to-cover emphasis on style. Likewise, in the months ahead, we’ll be honing and refocusing everything we do here at GQ (not just the print magazine but also our website, videos, and social media) until everything we publish is infused with an undeniable and elevated stylishness.”

While there’s no redesign of the classic GQ logo, the new cover features a monochromatic color scheme for a modern, sleek aesthetic.

Welch envisions GQ.com and its social content as “the campfire around which gentlemen of style gather to be inspired, to be challenged, and to exchange ideas.” GQ’s style audience is its most engaged and most loyal audience, with +36% of visitors who click on style content coming to GQ.com over 4 times per month. In 2019, GQ will transition all of its “style service” and “how-to” content to GQ.com, as 57% of GQ.com’s overall style traffic comes from SEO on those topics. Successful franchises like GQ Recommends, the one-stop shop for all the products GQ editors love, will be expanding content in Q1. Recommends’ content averages +57% more uniques and +23% more time-spent than the site-wide average, with a conversion rate to purchase that is 2x the industry average.

Across social, GQ will evolve to service the kind of platform-specific content that is tailored to GQ’s audience. With 4.5M followers, Instagram is GQ’s most powerful platform, and the brand will be developing new social-first style programming across the platform’s Timeline and Stories function. GQ will start to feel less intensely curated and more like followers are getting access inside the minds of editors and writers, engaging in the same conversations that are happening at GQ HQ.

Welch plans to push GQ’s successful video franchises forward into new territory, building on the +64M views across YouTube, onsite, social, and syndication, with expanded series, celebrating not only big names but also the stylish lives of GQ insiders and community.  

Additionally, Welch has named Mobolaji Dowadu as fashion director. Dowadu has previously worked with Welch on GQ Style and will now oversee fashion for both GQ and GQ Style.

The February issue of GQ, starring Frank Ocean, is on stands January 15.

Carly Holden

Executive Director, Communications GQ Glamour

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