Magazine’s ‘Sexy Issue’ Returns with Spilt Covers Inspired by Provocative ’90s Imagery

ONE OF HOUSTON'S steamiest summer traditions is returning this week. Houston CityBook magazine's annual "Sexy Issue" is coming back after a year's hiatus in 2020 due to Covid.

"This issue is a celebration of Houston leaving Covid-19 behind and charging into the city's hottest season, literally and figuratively," says Editor-in-Chief Jeff Gremillion. "We know our readers enjoy the Sexy Issue, and we couldn't be happier to revive it for 2021."

The envelope-pushing issue — which historically highlights men's and women's swimwear, underwear and lingerie in its fashion pages — is making its fourth annual appearance, this time boasting different covers for newsstand readers and home subscribers. CityBook asked photographer Steve Visneau to create the minimal black-and-white cover shots, with inspiration from Bruce Weber imagery from the '90s and early 2000s, the famed lensman's Abercrombie & Fitch era.

Covers and inside fashion images for the special issue were overseen by CityBook Creative Director Patrick Magee, with styling by Todd Ramos, who mixed pre-fall looks from the likes of Christian Dior and Michael Kors into the wardrobe, along with barely-there swim styles and delicates. Edward Sanchez provided hair and makeup. The brand-new Heights House hotel, a colorful and funky redo of an old freeway motor motel in the Heights, was selected as the location.

"The inspiration for this shoot was LIFE!," says Magee. "We wanted to capture happy people in the warm summer light, a feeling we all haven't felt in awhile."

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