"A series of stylistic suggestions for bold summer fashions to be worn by gentlemen of quite marvelous shape," reads the copy. And the model is — well, he's not the chiseled blue steel we're used to seeing.
Granted, the model in question is also sporting what looks like a prison-striped 1900's bathing costume in one of the shots. And granted, this is Fantastic Man, the famously idiosyncratic men's "style journal" and brother-mag of The Gentlewoman. The cover model is artist Wolfgang Tillmans; the two founders ran the avant-garde gay quarterly Butt.
In short, it's not exactly signaling a sea-change in the mainstream. Indeed, as BlackBook points out, this is very much against the trend towards ever-thinner male models. But Fantastic Man is a fashion insider's fashion mag, and as such, this will be a highly visible example of expanding the range of editorial body-types. Nor is it mere happenstance; editor Jop Van Bennekom was quoted in Interview as saying, "We couldn't identify with all the models being used in magazines, all the 12-year-olds." We're guessing they're not the only ones.
The Latest From Fantastic Man: Plus-Size Model & Sponspored Content [BlackBook]
Fantastic Man [Interview]