Documentary Explores Impact Of International Male On Men’s Fashions & Masculinity

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The upcoming documentary, All Man: The International Male Story, takes you beyond the glossy pages of the iconic, men’s mail-order fashion catalog, exposing its impact on fashion, sexuality and masculinity in America.

From the official synopsis:

More than outrageous fashions, hunky models, and scandalous undies, ALL MAN is a journey across three decades of the International Male catalog’s lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and gay rights.

With revenues at its peak of $120 million and circulation of over 3 million, the catalog successfully appealed to both gay and straight audiences.

For gay men, the images of sensually dressed men were a gateway into a fantasy world providing an escape from the AIDS crisis and widespread homophobia.

For straight men and their female admirers, the catalog gave permission to take fashion risks and enjoy a more carefree expression of sexuality without threatening their masculinity and sexual appeal.

ALL MAN: The International Male Story is designed as a tribute to the catalog’s unique aesthetic and cultural relevance. The film mixes exclusive never-seen-before photographs and videos, interviews with super fans and celebrities, and creative re-enactments of the infamous photoshoots, and more!

The cast includes Carson Kressley, Jake Shears, Brian Buzzini, David Knight, Steve Lyon, and Robert Goold.

Speaking to NewNowNext, the film’s directors Jesse Finley Reed and Bryan Darling share that International Male helped give men permission “to look at each other and themselves in a way where sexuality is open and the body is something to be celebrated and looked at.”

As Carson Kressley says in the teaser video below, “International Male really capitalized on putting masculine guys in some pretty ‘not’ masculine outfits. The very start of the metrosexual movement – where you can wear clothes just to have fun.”

I can remember when the IM catalogs were practically seen as gay porn hiding as a fashion catalog.

I also remember when the clothes featured by International Male eventually went so over the top they became something of a joke making their way into primetime TV sitcoms like Seinfeld (above).

You can find more information about the upcoming film at the project’s website here. Watch the teaser video below.