LOS ANGELES—What with Playboy betraying its readership by eliminating nudes from its magazine, the current place to go for both interesting, insightful articles together with hot photo spreads is Penthouse—and as its owner and CEO Kelly Holland explained to AVN in an interview published last February, making a print magazine, even a XXX-rated one, profitable nowadays takes a unique brand of sales savvy.
“We know we need to reach millennials; it’s a very tough generation,” Holland stated. “That generation was born with a cellphone in each hand; they came through the birth canal speed-dialing things. They have such a high level of radar for authenticity; they’re so savvy about brands—they are their own brand, actually. You have to approach them in a very different way. So the question is, how do we go to millennials and make a magazine relevant? … You find out what brands are authentic to them, so we started looking, most easily, at apparel brands; what apparel brands are sort of embedded in the current millennial thinking? And we found HUF; Clearweather, which is a sneaker brand; [and] Passarella Death Squad, a fashion brand, a streetwear brand.”
Holland offered those brands free advertising for a time so they could see how profitable it could be to appeal to Penthouse readers, and one company which took that idea to heart was HUF, which now produces a complete line of Penthouse-branded clothing, with its latest addition debuting in stores yesterday: a pair of premium leather sneakers, the Hupper 2, which features “Penthouse patterns debossed on the white upper. The logo is emblazoned with metallic gold detail on the tongue, and custom artwork is incorporated in the insole,” wrote Charlie Carballo of FootwearNews.com.
But that’s not all: “The collab pays a nod to the magazine’s nudity, too, in a pair of socks that feature a topless model. The style incorporates black cap toes and a design that nods censored magazine sleeve covers. Other items in the collection include velvet tracksuits, hoodies, a vanilla scented air freshener, gold-plated bottle opener key chain, and co-branded hats.”
HUF’s latest ads also feature Penthouse‘s 2016 Pet of the Year Kenna James, though pictured with significantly more clothes than Penthouse readers are used to seeing.
The full HUF Penthouse collection can be seen on the store’s retail web page.