When you think of Lands’ End, what comes to mind? Probably your ridiculously awkward middle school uniform, consisting of ill-fitting khaki shorts and a variety of polo colors. You know what doesn’t come up? Emily Ratajkowski’s mostly naked body from the August issue of GQ… but maybe it should. [Photo via GQ]
A free issue of GQ was meant to be a gift to Lands’ End’s loyal customers. Unfortunately, the majority of their clientele consists of mega-Christian soccer moms, who were not impressed with Emily’s topless romp on a beach, even though anyone else would’ve been. The GQ promo was to reward the best Lands’ End customers with magazines like Self, Vogue, and Glamour. Unfortunately, their best customers are probably the most soccer-y moms of all — the ones that order the puffiest vests, the sharpest chinos, and the highest turtlenecks. They’re hardcore.
These magazine partnerships are happening to try to increase subscribers, since no one’s buying mags anymore. Unfortunately for GQ, I don’t think they’re gaining any Lands’ End’s subscribers after this ordeal (other than the 14-year-old boys whose mothers won’t let them). By Wednesday, people were so upset that Lands’ End had to apologize to its shoppers. Edgar Huber, the chief executive, issued an apology, explaining that he wanted to include his male customers.
As an apology, Lands’ End is now issuing subscriptions to Condé Nast Traveler, which might make even less sense, because there’s no way in hell those folks are planning trips to exotic locales. Lands’ End regulars are lucky to take a vacation to the local Olive Garden and call it Italy. Until Recently, a GQ subscription included wouldn’t have been too out of the ordinary. The cover usually featured portraits of celebrities, but now it’s mostly Maxim types.
If you have an hour to kill, check out the Lands’ End Facebook page for unlimited laughs. Seriously, you would think that the cover was way more offensive than just featuring a scantily clad smokeshow. Honestly, people should’ve just been thankful for the impromptu present. Here are some of the best Facebook comments about the ordeal:
“My 14-year-old son brought in the mail today & was quite disturbed & fascinated by a “gift” Lands End sent us — a copy of GQ magazine with an absolutely OBSCENE cover!!! While GQ may have been a reputable magazine at one time, today it seems to have sunken to the level of smut. Not only was there a topless woman on the cover, but she reappeared inside in several topless, provocative poses. I am appalled that Lands End – which I have always thought of as a “wholesome,” family-oriented company – would be the one to expose my son to pornography!”
“I try hard to protect my children from the devastating influences of pornography, and when my six year old daughter brought in the mail that day I was shocked by what she was holding in her hands. I’m grateful my nine year old son was not exposed to this as well.”
“Pornography is so harmful, not only to the individual, but to society as a whole. It is equivalent to a harmful drug such as cocaine, meth or heroine. It changes the brain, is extremely addictive, and has detrimental effects to relationships. I would never want my young, impressionable children to be exposed to something so harmful, and thanks to you, Lands End, they were.”
“I was quite upset when I received what I consider to be a pornographic cover photo in my home, where my husband and children were exposed to it. But thank you for immediately sending an honest, humble apology. I believe in redemption (Praise Jesus, my Savior!). You are forgiven.”
“My 5yr old son just brought in the mail (his chore), and wanted to know why the lady on the magazine had no clothes on (I don’t call barely there bikini bottoms, and a flower leis clothes)!”<
“Dear Lands End I would have appreciated a copy of Cat Fancy as an option but this GQ will do as I realize Cat Fancy would be an issue of discussion as well , for all the felines on the cover aren’t just topless but at many times unclothed and nude” <—— Actual comment. Not one we made up.