Bryan Darling, Jesse Finley Reed
This charming documentary charts the success of an unlikely group of fashion outsiders who launched a magazine that would change the way men looked at themselves and each other.
Founded by Gene Burkard in the 1970s, International Male was flamboyant, cheeky, and daring. Utterly opposite to the restrictive post-war trends in American male fashion, the magazine put men in pretty, feminine fabrics and embraced a sense of fun and creativity. The covers and spreads evoked the aesthetic of romance novels, with models posing in beautiful locations, sensually beckoning the reader into fantasy. During a time when it was unsafe to be out, the catalogue provided a safe space for gay men in their pages, allowing for a reflection of self and cultivation of desire.
Narrated by Matt Bomer and featuring an all-star cast of celebrity stylists, fashion influencers, and comedic actors, this film celebrates three decades of the International Male catalog’s lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and gay rights.