Our Take —
Varón Magazine is another new title in a Spanish market that is suddenly, rather inexplicably, rich in new titles seeking a male readership. Like the others, it has its particular identity. In the case of Varón, this is one that appears to be seeking a place somewhere between a particular kind of men’s fashion magazine and a more traditional gentlemen’s quarterly.
Originality, the old adage goes, is the art of concealing one’s source. And certainly, in considering its tone and art direction, one hopes that Varón would not deny a certain set of influences that are readily recognisable from some of the recent successes of directional men’s magazines arising elsewhere and penetrating the international market. This is not the same as saying that it is derivative, nor that originality and novelty should be confused. In laying out its combination of fashion, design, lifestyle, feature articles and interviews, it fiercely applies its own stark monochromatic identity and develops its own character.
Content is fairly international without re-profiling the same globalised celebrities as so many other titles. The articles are published in either English or Spanish in a fairly random way, one assumes due to practicalities. If Varón is aiming to appeal to a male readership of various age groups, then it is also notable that the fashion appears to be speaking to a much younger audience than the articles and features. However, this is something that it has in common with a number of very successful titles. So, perhaps it is an intentional strategy.