MEET GQ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, NICK SMITH

The Eye gets the inside word on GQ's Men of the Year awards and all things GQ.

1. Looking at the past couple of years' GQ Men of the Year winners, it's an amazing hall of talented individuals across so many fields, what is the best part about celebrating a group of outstanding Australian men each year?

I think the most wonderful part of the celebration is hearing the stories of success from our winners. Whether you're an actor, sportsman, politician or artist, it takes hard-work, getting through the ups and downs of life, a good period of learning, and a bit of good luck to be successful. Our audience loves to hear the stories as a way to make a path for their own success.

2. How do you judge the winners, is there a base criteria you start with? What do you look for?

We start by electing a number of finalists in each category via our Men of the Year editorial judging panel which consists of around 8 judges from different backgrounds and fields of interest. To be considered, you need to have done something extraordinary in your field over the last 12 months. We have a few international awards and a woman of the year award, but a main criteria for consideration is to be an Australian man. In final selection as a winner, we like to consider the candidate through the brand pillars of GQ - stylish, sophisticated, modern, and someone with a great personality.

3. Last year's awards feel hard to beat featuring winners Mick Fanning, David Pocock, Waleed Aly, Ruby Rose, Cody Simpson, Jai Courtney etc. Are you able to give us any hints about what or who is in store this year?

All I can say, is that it's our 10th year of the awards and that has given us the opportunity to consider the men who've shaped the face of Australian men over the last decade. So expect some big local and international names. I promise you the winners will be as incredible as those winners in 2015.

4. Do you think there is something distinct about the Australian men you cover in the GQ Men of the Year awards compared with the GQ Men of the Year award winners in other countries? Is there a certain commonality or feature that you think could be said about our Aussie men?

We learnt that as well as the particular field a winner is in, our audience appreciates that winners have a depth of character or have many more facets to them than their job. They like our winners to have a social conscience, be tolerant, appreciate modern family values as well as being incredibly good at what they do. That's why winners such as Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Ian Thorpe and Michael Clarke have been so popular over the last 10 years.

5. Have you noticed a change in the mix of achievements and backgrounds amongst the men the awards recognise over the years?

Over the last few years we've had to recognise the recognition of talent in many forms. Entrepreneurs and successful men in technology are of keen interest to our audience. We've also seen the need to acknowledge those in the social media world. As the Aussie male has become more sophisticated, we've added in more awards of a cultural nature, such as artist, journalist, writer and agenda setter.

6. For features in the magazine and particularly as part of the Men of the Year awards, you would meet so many people, who has surprised you the most in person?

I think Tony Abbott was quite a shock. Someone who I didn't necessarily think i would get on with because of his point of view, was actually a really good bloke.

7. GQ covers everything from travel, taste and fashion to feature articles on influential people and hot current affairs issues. What's the role of GQ in our lives these days?

Really our aim at GQ, is to turn young ambitious men into successful gentlemen. So everything we do is aimed at creating a more successful and satisfied life for our audience - and that's from how they dress, to what they do, to how they live.

8. Have you observed any notable shifts in trends and interests since editing the magazine? How has the content and compilation of the magazine evolved?

Australian guys are definitely interested in looking good now. Which was not the case 10 years ago. They are as savvy as we are when it comes to brands, trends and what's happening around the world. The speed of content consumption has also increased exponentially, so it means that we've had to invest in delivering more and more content to almost a 24/7 feed. 9. If you had to give a hot tip about what would be a cool Christmas present this year for the GQ man, what would it be?

A GQ subscription ;p

10. If you weren't the editor of GQ, what would you love to do?

Nothing could beat this.

 

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