After 21 years of publication and being one of the leading magazines during the “lad mag” boom of the 1990s, Loaded is finally closing down. In a report from the Guardian, the magazine’s publisher made the announcement that this month’s issue will be the final one.
“As of the current April issue, published on March 26th, ‘Loaded’ will cease to trade as a printed magazine…We would like to pay tribute to our customers, staff and especially our contributors and editorial team.”
BBC News’ media and arts correspondent, David Sillito, said that despite Loaded magazine having a significant impact on male fashion and culture, sales fell dramatically over the years.
“Drinking, football, drugs, music and pictures of girls usually wearing only underwear or less, ‘Loaded’ defined the ‘lad’ culture of the 1990s. But things have moved on. Sales have in 15 years fallen from 350, 000 to around 30, 000. Its weekly rival Nuts has already gone under.”
Messages have already begun filling up Twitter, with users expressing sadness at the news of the UK magazine closing down.
— Nicola Clements (@RubbishGFriend) March 27, 2015
— jonnycamden (@jonnycamden) March 27, 2015
Deputy editor Lia Nicholls even popped up on the social media site to confirm to others that the magazine was indeed ceasing publication.
@MCSaatchiSteveM yes afraid it is Steve. Very sad given its historical value and when we’d restored former glory, content wise that is
— Lia Nicholls (@LiaNicholls) March 27, 2015
Loaded began in the UK in 1994, and by the year 2000, had a circulation of 350,000. The magazine won several awards during its time, including “best-designed fashion pages” at the Magazine Design Awards. It also had contributions from some of the world’s most prolific writers, including Hunter S. Thompson and the author of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh.
However, despite the accolades, the magazine also received criticism for its portrayal of women in revealing clothes. In July, 2014, after a brief period of being in administration, a representative from Loaded announced that the publication would be “far more discerning and sophisticated” in terms of its depiction of women.
Despite the end of Loaded magazine, some experts believe that the era of “lad” culture is still very much in vogue, particularly with the likes of the Lad Bible, which began three years ago in the UK.