Ah Men goes Arty
West Hollywood : Ah Men, circa 1965. Oblong quarto, illustrated self-wrappers, pp. , mailing label, order form intact, illustrated, a fine copy.
Don Cook founded Ah Men, Shop for Men on Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood in about 1960 (some sources say 1958, the others 1961), the shop successfully trading until the mid 1980s. Located close to the major movie studios, fashion designers and boutiques of Beverly Hills, and movie stars homes in the Hollywood Hills, it was unmistakably aimed at a gay male clientelle, and one of the first overtly gay retailers to have an open shop on a main shopping strip in California. The firm ran a successful catalogue business as well, the brochures illustrated with studio photography and graphic design, often themed along different lines. In Ah Men goes Arty, the models are posed in a range of fashionable outfits (zebra turtlenecks, sculptured torso shirts, op art jumpers) ideal to be seen at gallery openings. Lounge wear (leopard or zebra one piece lounge suits), clubwear (string torso mesh shirts, hip-clinger low rise jeans) and several pages of revealing underwear provide dress (or undress) options for later in the evening. The catalogue concludes with a range of accessories (colognes, leather belts, hair spray, masques, etc) to finish the look.
The front cover features Lloyd Smith of Houston, Texas, the Ah Man of the Year, his sculpted physique taking first place out of 2700 entrants, according to the catalogue.
Rare, with no copies recorded on WorldCat, a significant fashion catalogue from L.A’s gay community in the sixties.