Maxim really wants women to read its magazine. The traditionally male-centric publication changed leadership, putting Kate Lanphear at the helm, and has, since she’s taken the reins, featured beautiful faces — not bodies — on the covers. But it seems a shift back to the figure is taking place as the brand is producing a swimwear collection.
Teaming up with Onis Design Group, the magazine will sell swimsuits (bikinis, one-pieces, and cover-ups) in a variety of styles, including fringe, crochet, paisley, seersucker, and gingham, WWD reports. They’ll debut on the runway at the four-day Funkshion Miami Swim Week (July 16-19) in South Beach. They’re priced between $76 and $320.
This new partnership could just be a ploy to drive sales of the publication — many magazines including Elle and Vogue have retail collaborations as well for this very purpose. But considering the fact that there’s a new feminist mandate in place, it could also be viewed as a commendation of women’s bodies from a brand that has historically minimized them.
“Celebrating sexiness is at the essence of the brand, we’re not going to change that, but I think we can experiment with how we show sexiness,” Lanphear told CBS. She explained that sexiness isn’t just about a woman’s body. It can also be about someone’s laugh or the look in her eyes. “Our audience is driven, smart, confident, so they’re attracted to women who are just as driven, smart, and confident.”
With social media campaigns spearheaded by the likes of Tess Holliday, Ashley Graham, and Denise Bidot encouraging women to wear bikinis and bathing suits that make them feel comfortable regardless of their size, Maxim associating with that side of the women’s body movement — not the objectification one — could be a good move.