After four decades at GQ, Jim Moore has made a lot of friends. He’s also amassed an enormous catalogue of fashion stories and portraits of Hollywood actors, athletes and politicians. And now, his collection of GQ magazine covers and editorial shoots are the subject of a new book, “Hunks and Heroes,” which Moore celebrated at the Ralph Lauren Mansion on Madison Avenue on Thursday.
Among those who turned out for the event were Bruce Pask, Josh Peskowitz, Fern Mallis, New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley, actors Alfie Allen and Zachary Quinto, Todd Snyder, Michael Hainey, Kevin Love and Jon Hamm.
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With such a big turnout for the hefty 352-page book, it’s hard to believe that it almost didn’t happen. “I didn’t really want to do a book,” Moore said at the party. “It really took Ivan Shaw [Condé Nast’s corporate photography director] to shake me. He said you really have to do this book, because I know that you have these stories and these pictures in your mind, but no one’s ever going to see this collectively unless you put it together and put it out into the world.”
“Hunks and Heroes” begins with fashion editorials shot in the Eighties, when Moore, with photographer Steven Meisel, produced shoots that showcased suits that were the antithesis of the Reagan-era, broad shouldered power look. The book flows through each decade highlighting key designers including Rei Kawakubo, Helmut Lang, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren and key people like Channing Tatum, who was a model for GQ before making it big on the silver screen; Barack Obama, who shot with Moore twice for the magazine; and Kanye West, a close friend of Moore’s who wrote the foreword.
“It was like we kind of understood each other right away, and how his mind works and my mind works,” Moore said about his friendship with West.
The foreword is a conversation between Moore and West, which was West’s idea. “He said, ‘You and I are all about our conversations,’ so I said we’ll keep it to 30 minutes and then publish it as is.”
“Hunks and Heroes” begins with Moore’s move to New York City to attend Tobé-Coburn, the school to go to if one wanted to work at a fashion magazine in the Seventies, and the internship at GQ that he landed through the school.
“I was basically stuffing envelopes, but at night, I would walk over to the fashion department and help them pack the trunks for the big shoots. I made myself indispensable and then from there I was able to move up quite quickly,” he said.
The book is a history lesson for men’s fashion, imaginative visual storytelling, the evolution of the Hollywood leading man and of Moore’s career, the latter of which is the heart that ties the tome together.
Moore and Ralph Lauren are also collaborating on content for the Polo App, including a Q&A about Moore’s career, a video piece about the Ralph Lauren Mansion, and a styling piece with four looks pulled from the Ralph Lauren fall 2019 collection.
“I really enjoyed the process of working with the people at Ralph Lauren and especially working on the app,” said Moore. “They welcomed my suggestions and we worked together to create serviceable content that really matched the DNA between GQ and Ralph Lauren. I’m always going to be looking out for the real guy and helping him with style advice, and hopefully the videos and social content we did for Polo will help that guy the same way we help him at GQ.”