Letter From the EditorLetter from the Editor: Welcome to GQStyle.com
GQ Style Editor-in-Chief Will Welch wants you to be more fearless with your personal style. This new website is a good place to start.
Whenever people ask me where I think fashion is headed, I quote one of my favorite sardonic cultural critics, Father John Misty. Late last year, the indie rocker told New York magazine that he hates "basic-ass dude" clothes. "Everyone kind of looks like a graphic designer," he said. "It's predicated on not fucking up, as opposed to the emphasis really being on expression." I read that quote just before we announced the launch of GQ Style, and the implicit sartorial challenge in it—do you want to express yourself or focus on not fucking up?—has never left my head.
Two other things that haven't left my head as we've been busy getting GQ Style and GQStyle.com up and running are the classic shot of Richard Gere blazing a cigarette on the cover of GQ in 1980 and the legendary Polaroid of Giorgio Armani by Andy Warhol.
You know it's a great portrait because there's not a word in the English language that's sufficient to capture the spirit of what Armani is putting across in that picture. Seriously, try to find one. He looks confident. Glamorous. Ballsy. Debonair. (Remember that word? It's endangered but not extinct.) The picture also looks retro to us now, but what's retro about the shot is that Mr. Armani appears so unselfconscious. Fully embodied. Most men I know would be afraid to unleash the attitude that Giorgio was serving up to Andy.
Luckily, Jared Leto, the current face of GQ Style, is not most men. Jared Leto is fearless. It's a topic that he and writer Mark Anthony Green tackle in their interview, so I won't step on it here. But whether he's wearing the hell out of a yellow Gucci turtleneck (eat your heart out, Father John Misty), plumbing his soul to bring the Joker to life in Suicide Squad (for the record, we're angling for a sequel that's all about the Joker and Harley Quinn), or pushing himself to new heights while rock climbing in California or Majorca, fearlessness is what sets Leto apart.
And today—the day we launch this new website—we are banking on the idea that fearlessness is what will set GQStyle.com apart, too. In this space, we'll be fearlessly (some might say naively) pushing against the tide of snackable online content to bring you feature-length dives into all our favorite worlds: fashion, interior design, art, gear, cars, watches, booze, travel, and beyond. We'll also do stuff like introduce awesome rappers to legendary fashion designers, host Marley family reunions, score you a seat in Maverick Carter's Maybach, and take you on a tour of Robert Downey Jr.'s sweet office space in Venice, CA.
Furthermore, we intend to make this website priority clicking for anybody who closely follows men's fashion, effective immediately. This afternoon we’ve got The Best Emerging Fashion Brands You Need to Know Now. (My favorites: Evan Kinori and Ziggy Chen.) Tomorrow we've got a piece on the secret store in Paris where the most beautiful eyeglasses in the world are made. Our feeling is that this site should be the new home for men with advanced taste who don't feel like they've currently got a home.
While I'm at it, I'd also like to point out that fearlessness is the theme of the new issue of the print magazine. Go grab our Fall fashion issue on newsstands and you'll find a full-on compendium of fearlessness. For example: There's a feature on the Stonemasters, the 1970's rock climbing crew that brought badass, highly-expressive style (Father John Misty would approve) to a sport that's about facing death down every time you touch the rock. There's also a feature on Wes Lang, who's an artist in the truest sense. Because artists—like outlaws and Olympians—are supposed to show us a freer way to live. And Wes has organized his life so that he can exist, as writer Zach Baron puts it, "with minimal help and zero interference." Don't you want that? I know I do.
To get there, we each have to do the hard introspective work of confronting our fears. Not only is that the surest path to creating lives that match the ones we see in our dreams—it's also a deeply political act. Because even in a fear-driven world, the fearless cannot be terrorized, provoked, or demeaned. Things like hatred and violence are by-products of insecurity, perpetrated by the afraid. In a world without fear, there would simply be peace. And without fear, men are free to be confident. Glamorous. Ballsy. Debonair. Allergic to basic-ass dude clothes and splendiferously arrayed. And if somebody whips out a camera, we can present ourselves in a way that not even a thousand words can describe.
I'll start with me, you start with you—and we'll go from there. Cool?