Inside GQ Germany’s reinvention

23 March 2022

"My father, who’s in his late 70s, looked at our current issue and was surprised at how genuinely interesting it was for him. Talk about reaching new audiences!"

Change is afoot at GQ Germany, under the new leadership of Tobias Frericks.

Frericks started working at Condé Nast in 2004 as the Fashion Editor of GQ Germany and GQ Style. After a brief stint at Vanity Fair in 2008, he returned to GQ Germany in 2009 as the Fashion Director. Fast-forward to today, and he’s now the brand’s Head of Editorial Content.

From highlighting the art scene in Berlins, to reflecting a “new masculinity” in the brand’s design, Frericks shares how he is taking GQ Germany in a bold,new direction.

Congratulations on your first issue as GQ Germany’s Head of Editorial Content. The design is much cleaner, not to mention fresher. Tell us about the evolutionary process you’ve been on, and how you arrived at this new look and feel for the brand?

The new look is a natural step in terms of how we’re developing the brand. Along with a fresh take on GQ’s core ideas, it was also necessary to adopt our vision of the “new masculinity” on a visual level. This design – less cluttered, more minimalist – gives us the space to really explore that approach.

What do you want GQ Germany to stand for?

Our understanding of masculinity has changed tremendously in recent years and I want GQ Germany to reflect that. New perspectives on what it means to identify as “a man” – the whole spectrum of that – allow us to look at classic GQ content and tell these stories with a new and different angle. This should prove compelling for old and new readers alike. My father, who’s in his late 70s, looked at our current issue and was surprised at how genuinely interesting it was for him. Talk about reaching new audiences!

Tell us about your vision for shaping GQ Germany’s local storytelling and the importance of “local” content itself?

Germany has so much to offer, yet we at GQ have perhaps neglected that a little in the past. From its exceptional art scene to current happenings in Berlin, there is so much going on. These stories are not only relevant to our readers, but also to international audiences – that we can now reach thanks to our collaborative approach in conjunction with our sibling titles.

Robert Pattinson is your first cover star, as part of the global issue. What does he mean to you and your audiences in Germany?

Robert really embodies a new type of Hollywood actor. A leading man who’s not afraid to take risks – from picking roles in smaller indie productions to participating in photoshoots like our cover story. I think that’s something our readers in Germany and around the world can really value. Plus, by allowing us to portray him in this way, it hopefully shows other A-listers that they, too, can be a little more daring.

What can we expect to see from GQ Germany in the coming months?

We’ll be working on bringing this new vision to all our channels. This includes events where we can really engage with our community and show everyone what the new GQ Germany is about.

On a European level, I’m also looking forward to our plans with the other Heads of Editorial Content. Working as one team over all GQ markets just gives us so much more power to create amazing stories for our audiences. Watch this space!