The Woman behind Maxim’s First Man

Idris Elba, Lauren Wise, KettleMag, Kate Lanphear
Written by Lauren Wise

Last week the release of US Maxim turned a few heads for the right reasons. Instead of being confronted by a scantily clad seductress, The Wire’s Idris Elba smoulders from the cover in his suave leopard print coat.

Kate Lanphear has been praised as the brains behind Maxim’s new image; toning down the lad mag and adding a hint of class to steer the magazine in a new direction.  

This change, pioneered by the former style director of Elle USA, is one of many reasons why Lanphear is a worthy idol for women. This said it seems apt to pay homage to the woman changing the face of lad mags by learning a bit more about the woman behind the operation.

Lanphear grew up in a traditionally Irish catholic family in Virginia, where she developed a grungy style through her teenage years, donning guns and roses t-shirts and skinny jeans.

Today the editor-in-chief of Maxim is a style icon, complete with her own cult following. Her androgynous look is formed through a combination of platinum blonde hair and a rock-n-roll couture wardrobe.

Lanphear has a strong style background behind her working for brands such as Australian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle USA.

So it’s not surprising that the decision for her to become editor-in-chief of Maxim was a shock to its readers. And a lot of them didn’t take to the idea at all… 

But then there are those who proclaim from the rooftops (or at least Twitter) this is the best decision the magazine could have made.  

In the height of Women’s Season here at Kettle, this change from a degrading objectification of women’s bodies to a sophisticated look focusing on talent and accomplishments couldn’t go uncelebrated.  

But what are your views? Is the change to appeal more widely to a female audience as well as male unnecessary? Or is it one that’s been a long time coming? Leave your views in the comment section below!  

Read our Women's season magazine, kettle mag,