Candice Swanepoel By Gilles Bensimon For Maxim Magazine March 2015

The last time I paid any serious attention to Maxim Magazine, an illustrated pinup girl was riding a pickle into the sky, shot out of a gun. Just a couple days ago, I noticed a pretty sophisticated editorial from Maxim, pulled the tag and saw a trail of ‘new look’ editorials. 

This sensual editorial of Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel lensed by photographer Gilles Bensimon under the critical eye of Kate Lanphear, the former style director at both T: the New York Times Style Magazine and Elle, who took over as Maxim’s editor in chief in September.

WSJ points out that Maxim’s been in an ad page freefall in a digital life world. It remains the largest of the ‘mens magazines’ — twice the size of Playboy, also undergoing reinvention.

The only magazine that was able to make this kind of turnaround was Vanity Fair [back in the 1990s], but they didn’t substantially change their audience,” said Samir Husni, head of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. “Maxim has two million lads who expect babes, beer and sport, and there is no amount of money in the world that can transform them into the audience you have at GQ or Esquire.

Maxim’s owner, hamburger chain entrepreneur Sardar Biglari remains positive but pragmatic:

The transformation of Maxim will either make history or be history. If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.