In the late nineties, when Brit-Pop was still a thing and lads’ mags dominated magazine publishing, The Chap was just finding its feet.

Gustav Temple, Founder of The Chap

In 1999, Gustav Temple launched a publication that was a refreshing alternative to the likes of Nuts, Loaded, Zoo and FHM that once flooded supermarket shelves.

“I thought let’s start a magazine that offers advice on elegance and modern manners which is light-hearted yet firm in its stand against vulgarity.”

With its advocacy of tweed caps, maintained moustaches, hip flasks and well-pressed trousers, The Chap is the antithesis of lad culture. The message is not to return to the 1940’s, but rather to bring back a bit of ‘joie-de-vivre’ to a modern culture that is believed to have ‘lost its way’.

Contrary to what it may be perceived, being upper class is not a requirement to be a chap. Gustav firmly believes that there is no longer a relation between the upper class and being well-dressed and well-mannered:

“There is nothing elitist about good manners. When we condemn ‘vulgarity’ we are condemning the dull, the conformist – the people who cannot be bothered to discover their own individuality. That, to my mind, is conservative.”

 Tongue firmly in cheek, the magazine covers everything from retro festivals and grooming, to how to dress like one of the Shelby Brothers – an article which features less of the criminal gangs and more of the iconic three-piece suits. A recent example would be an interview with star of Peaky Blinders, Paul Anderson, with particular interest in the well-groomed moustache he grew for the role.

The Chap’s quarterly issues have also included interviews with esteemed actor and author, Stephen Fry and its 100th edition released in May 19 featured all-time chap favourite, Terry Thomas, as well as an interview with Gustav himself, taking a look at the fascinating history of the publication.

Give Three Piece a Chance

In its earlier years, the magazine delivered its ten-point manifesto by bringing it to life in the form of protests across central London. Just one year after the launch of the publication, the editorial team held an organised protest, ‘Civilise The City’

Fifty well-dressed protesters doffed their hats to strangers and helped the elderly across the road, in a march against the ‘vulgarity’ of the contemporary world. Baring placards titled ‘make gloves, not war’, the chaps took a gentle approach, described by the Met “the most civilised protest ever seen”

Civilise The City: The Chap’s First Protest

Although it was a small and polite protest, in its own way it was a revolutionary statement for the magazine – taking a stand against wide-spread consumerism that they felt was destroying the heart and soul of the city:

“Tourists come to London to see men in bowler hats carrying umbrellas, and instead, they get Starbucks.”

Perhaps the most heartfelt protest was the march against ‘The Siege of Saville Row’. Bringing the mere essentials, hip flasks and pipes, chaps and chapettes protested the opening of American chain, Abercrombie and Fitch, in the heart of Saville Row, the historic heartland of bespoke tailoring in London.

The Siege of Saville Row

Placards titled ‘give three-piece a chance, save Saville Row from Abercrombie and Fitch’ were marched respectfully, in chap-like fashion to its flagship store in Burlington Gardens. It could be argued that Britain was finally being recognised for what it does best: standing up for tradition, this time, in one of the most well-mannered protests London had ever seen.

Recognised as the UK’s longest-serving gentlemen’s magazine, with a history of media-frenzied protests and Pimm’s soaked summer events – there is no doubt that the Chap has had a wealth of success in its 20-year history and it was clear to both Business East Sussex and Let’s Do Business Finance that it had an even bigger potential for the future.

Working with experienced mentors through the South East Business Boost (SEBB) scheme, Gustav has been able to identify where to focus his limited resources of finance and time, improve his SEO and website performance in order to ensure that his business continues to be sustainable and achieve growth.

On his experience working with business specialist Tim Brammer, Gustav said: 

“The support I’ve received from Tim has helped me to create a brand-new business plan for the next two years. In the face of declining subscription sales, the support has enabled me to re-focus my attention on pricing, product diversification, e-commerce and refining the businesses marketing strategy, all of which has had a significant impact on the growth of our magazine.”

Gustav also applied for finance to support his growth project and received funding through Let’s Do Business Finance, a Responsible Finance Provider to support an increased merchandise range, the launch of a new website, as well as further business development.

Tim Brammer, Business Support Specialist at Business East Sussex commented:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Gustav. He has a wealth of experience in the publication industry and I’m pleased to see his business heading in a positive direction following our support, as well as clients using the full-range of services available throughout the group to help their business grow.”

 
 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *