Marquis magazine has just published its 60th issue, which also marks the 20th year in business for the famous German and international fetish brand.
The story of Marquis is very much the story of owner, publisher and editor-in-chief ’s, although of course his involvement in fetish goes back a lot further than two decades.
It actually all began in 1987 when Peter started, from his home town of Solingen, a licensed edition of London’s Skin Two magazine (then three years old) called Skin Two Germany.
After publishing under that name for two years, Czernich relaunched his title as “O” magazine, which ran until 1994. It was produced in separate German and English language editions, and provided the perfect vehicle for its owner’s evolving fetish fashion/glamour photography style, characterised as it was by vibrant use of colour.
With a print run of 50,000 at its peak, “O” was also the brand behind Germany’s two Ball Bizarre parties of the late ’80s, which helped move the European fetish partying scene away from small semi-private gatherings and towards bigger, media-friendly events.
After 23 issues, Peter lost control of “O” when a business partnership went sour, but it wasn’t long before he bounced back again with Marquis magazine, the brand with which he has now been associated for 20 years.
Again published in several different language editions, the new Marquis magazine continued its predecessor’s tradition of vivid fetish glamour imagery, which it combined with enthusi- astic coverage of the European and international scenes.
In 1996 Czernich published his first photo book, Bizarre Beauty. Then in ’97, he added two new titles to the Marquis stable: Terminatrix, a bizarre comic and art magazine, and Heavy Rubber.
The latter, now both a print and online title and as well known today as its parent publication, caters with relish for those intrigued by bizarre latex style in its many modern incarnations.
The publishing house, by now also well established as a latex clothing brand and fetish video producer, dipped another toe into the event world in 2000 with the launch of Art Bizarre, a celebration of fetish glamour that attracted more than 3,000 visitors.
2004 saw Czernich not only having his first comprehensive solo exhibition at Hamburg’s Erotic Art Museum, but also publishing his second photography collection, Megadolls, with Edition Reuss.
The following decade of Marquis’ life saw the magazine continuing to be a showcase both for Peter’s photography and the cream of the fetish (for which read mainly latex) scene’s models, photographers and designers.
The brand also continued as a rich source of original DVD/video productions shot and directed by its owner — although like adult industry output generally, it was unable to escape the effects large-scale internet piracy.
“Every time we bring out a new DVD,” Peter told me not so longer ago, “somebody clopies it and uploads it to a pirate site within hours.”
The magazine itself, like all fetish print titles, was also affected by the increasing availability of free fetish content on the internet
The magazine itself, like all fetish print titles, was also affected by the increasing availability of free fetish content on the internet. It fought back by reducing it text content and focusing more than ever on page after page of lavish photography.
“In times of the internet,” said Czernich in 2010, “it is not shortlived party dates or up-to-date information which keeps a magazine alive. The internet is faster and more up-to-date than a quarterly magazine can ever be.
“We try to give people what the internet cannot provide: a selection, made by experts who have been part of the scene for decades, filtering for the relevant and lasting — the highest quality in photo, modelling and fashion design, story-writing and illustration.
“Things that are worth being presented in the best printing quality to be collected and last for a long time, unlike images on the net, which are snowed-under minutes after they’ve gone on line.”
His wife, business partner and sometimes model Bianca added: “While shops are having hard times nowadays, it is the loyal subscribers who keep us going.
“Only with a firm stock of subscribers can we manage the extremely high risk of putting all our money into the next print run, each time. We’d like to encourage more people to choose a subscription, which is cheaper than buying the magazines one by one.”
Like many others, Marquis magazine has had to tailor its publishing activities to the prevailing conditions. The French edition has become a section within the main magazine, and the brand’s activities in America are currently on hold.
The clothing business is now under new ownership too, having been sold to Latexa last year. But this leaner operation is now surely better equipped to survive.
In 2012 came the publication of a book that was a real labour of love: Fetish Photography, a collection of Peter’s favourite images from 15 years behind the camera.
Hailed as the ultimate Czernich collection, the book features about 100 models, some represented by multiple images. Among these women are many of the fetish genre’s biggest names including Dita Von Teese, a regular Czernich model for many years whose contribution to his oeuvre the photographer readily acknowledges.
Today, Marquis Number 60 is seen to be clearly keeping up the traditions that were established when Dita was a regular in its pages.
With a cover and major portfolio article featuring perennial favourite Bianca Beauchamp, the issue devotes its first three editorial spreads to an impressive collection of well-known industry figures commenting on the magazine’s place in fetish history.
The text is illustrated with behind-the-secenes shots from the magazine’s history, and we’ve included a selection of these in our own gallery on the right, along with a selection of classic covers — not just of Marquis mag itself, but also HeavyRubber, DVDs and books.
Now, with number 60 already shipping to subscribers, it just remains to say: “Many happy returns, Marquis magazine, and here’s to the next 20 years!”
Its first three spreads feature an impressive collection of well known industry figures commenting on the mag’s place in fetish history
Friday, 18 April 2014
Marquis Number 60
Use the link below to find out more about the content of Marquis 60 — out now — and to purchase a four-issue subscription.