Since launching in 2008 as a newsletter founded by Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop has expanded into an internationally recognized lifestyle brand that includes a popular website, a clothing line, a brick-and-mortar shop, a podcast, a TV series on Netflix, and wellness summits.
And while the company has catered largely to women in its history (and its workforce is about 70% to 80% female), this past spring they expanded their focus a bit, adding a new vertical dedicated to men. Announced by an Instagram post from Paltrow with photos of some of the most important men in her life, the new endeavor includes content geared toward men, a “Goopfellas” weekly podcast, co-hosted by chef Seamus Mullen and Dr. Will Cole, as well as a monthly newsletter, and the expansion of Goop’s G. Label clothing line to include G. Label Men.
We caught up with Elise Loehnen, 40, chief content officer at Goop (who co-hosts the Goop podcast and The Goop Lab TV series with Paltrow, and joined the company in 2013 after a career in magazines and technology), to talk about the new endeavor.
What was the reason behind launching a Goop vertical that's geared specifically to men? Did it evolve as the core brand evolved or was it always part of the plan?
It evolved. We certainly have always had men read the site—they’re also interested in food, travel, and some of the health and wellness. But we found more men coming to our events.
Goop’s just very feminine, it’s made for women by women. We’re not intentionally trying to exclude men, but what we found in talking to these guys is that they’re interested in the same conversations as women. They also want to optimize their lives, they want to evolve.
There are some great options out there for men, but a lot of it is wrapped up in style. Or it’s very “bro.” And for some men, that’s foreign and bizarre. We wanted to be inclusive.
What’s the feedback been like?
It’s been positive. The idea of vulnerability in men is mainstreaming. People are seeing that through people like [actor] Dax Shepard on his “Armchair Expert” [podcast, where he has in-depth conversations with notable people]. Once you start, people want to take inventory of their life.
How is Goop’s vertical for men similar to the core brand? How is it different?
It’s similar to the core brand, but it’s a slightly different voice. Seamus writes our social and comes up with story ideas, and we have a man leading our social team as well. It’s important we’re not just women guessing about what men want to read.
People seem to be hungry for stories around health issues, and relationship issues. We recently had an article about male infertility that seems to have resonated. People for a long time thought of it as a women’s issue, but it’s not.
What was the inspiration behind the G. Label Men clothing line?
It came out of the idea of making really beautiful cashmere sweaters, which are so expensive, direct-to-consumer. Gwyneth designed what she thought were the perfect sweaters with the men in her life in mind.
What are some of your favorite stories so far from the men's vertical?
We had the story on male infertility and there was one about gambling addictions that really resonated. We’re good about talking about taboo things in a way that breaks the taboo, just by opening the conversations.
We find our food stories do really well, too. Men seem to be very interested in really simple—primarily keto—food. They seem to be interested in gut health and aging, specifically.
What’s up next?
We’re going to continue to let it grow organically, and think about new formats, and how to reach new audiences—whether that’s on TV or radio. Mostly it’s about how can we continue to evolve it and push it and meet men where they are, by staying true to the Goop brand.