NOTES ON FASHION, By John Duka, NYTimes, 30 August 1983
AFTER what seems like years of sleep, the field of men's fashion publishing is about to be awakened by an editorial face-off between two publishing giants, Fairchild Publications, which produces Women's Wear Daily and W, and Conde Nast, whose magazines include Vogue, Glamour and Gentlemen's Quarterly.
The reason? John Fairchild is about to release his long-awaited fashion magazine for men, to be called M, the Civilized Man. Appearing in mid-September (at $3 an issue, 50 cents more than GQ), it could represent a turning point in the fortunes of men's fashion publishing simply because it is the first such magazine to appear in years and because its content is geared to men whose interests are considerably broader than what to wear tonight.
There is one problem. The advertisements in the magazine - $1 million worth - are so mixed in with the articles that it is almost impossible to determine where one ends and the other begins.
Gentlemen's Quarterly has already gone a long way to meet its competitor head on. It has a new editor, Arthur Cooper, former editor of Family Weekly. It has revamped its format. The fashion spreads are neater, cleaner, simpler and more masculine. There is greater emphasis on serious feature articles. And, unlike M, according to Steven T. Florio, GQ's publisher, the editorial well will not be disrupted by advertisements and ''is sacrosanct.''
That is a policy that just might work in GQ's favor.