(Note: cross-posted on SN Living)
Treats! magazine founder/photographer Steve Shaw couldn’t buy the prestige delivered his way by Chris Lee’s The Daily Beast feature on the sexy, upscale media venture launched almost a year ago. With a strong editorial push from Barry Diller’s group media group, it’s time to round up a year’s worth of Treats editorials, as if we can restrain ourselves and savour them one month at a time.
Treats! deserves the accolades that are coming Shaw’s way because Treats! — as we’ve said a hundred times — is great today and has major brand development opportunities tomorrow. The Beast writes:
The new title has grabbed the attention of influential tastemakers and industry icons around the world for its tasteful displays of female full-frontal nudity, luxe-y aesthetic, and underpinning of fashion-world credibility. And now subscriptions are flooding in for the L.A.-based magazine from as far away as the Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, and Malaysia, as well as such entrenched style hubs as London and Tokyo.
Just last month Treats! received a MIN Award by the Media Industry Newsletter, for being one of the Hottest Launches of 2011. For the first time in his 25 years of accolade-giving, Samir ‘Mr’ Magazine Husni, head of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media included a magazine featuring erotic content.
The mag’s monicker comes from Shaw’s nickname for the choice outtakes from his photo shoots—“treats”—the sexy stuff that magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and InStyle considered too racy to include in their pages, but that exerted strong appeal to the photographer’s non-fashionista “mates” back in England. “You have this model-photographer trust, and you want to create something beautiful. But those things don’t get published,” Shaw, 45, explained over lunch at West Hollywood’s Soho House. “My thought was, let’s do a magazine that shows women tastefully. Let’s take these beautiful models, take all the things that they are selling off, and do something creative.”
Shaw’s approach to photographing women has my strong support and congratulations for a carefully-considered, push-the-envelope but stay classy approach to the photography. It doesn’t hurt that Treats! oversized format and fine paper scream upscale and luxury.
I believe Treats! has major potential with luxury advertisers and have communicated that impression to the bosses. Shaw is dead-on right when he says:
A naked supermodel wearing a pair of $4,000 stiletto heels can make a powerful statement… I like to think of us as a fashion magazine in a way. But it’s not like Vogue, where she’s got this whole outfit on and it’s selling a product. She could just be wearing a pair of knickers and $50,000 worth of jewelry. It’s about luxury.
The third issue of Treats! is out in February and the Treats! website will add an online art gallery, where prints of the magazine’s photographs can be purchased for between $395 and $3,995 (depending on size and framing.)
Shaw is avoiding investors for the present, wanting to retain control of the development of Treats! The brand can do what Playboy never could achieve with a great name that appeals to both women and men. That development will take a cash infusion. I hear the gender split is about 50/50 for Treats! making it high-potential year-round brand concept and not just guy-driven for the holidays.
Personally, I see everything from exclusive bath bubbles to bonbons from Treats! — but that’s because I’ve always said that Victoria’s Secret dropped the ball, not having a high-end, very sexy and definitely erotic luxury brand like …. well, like Treats! Take note, Columbus. Perhaps Barry Diller already has. Anne
Note | Nudity While we wait for issue #3, here’s some of our favorite Treats! editorials from year one.