Men’s Style Australia has labelled Waleed Aly the ‘Most Important Man on TV’, splashing his intelligent face across the cover of its latest magazine.
Aly is, among other things, the co-host of The Project, and editor Michael Pickering said he stands by the bold choice of words.
“I had to fight for those cover lines. I’ve wanted to feature him for quite some time, he’s this big brained man who thinks before he speaks. There is a reason everything he says goes viral online,” Pickering said, per a Fairfax report.
Aly is a name people tend to remember nowadays, with the former lawyer not shying away from tackling the big issues, from ISIS to climate change, without the typical ‘shock jock’ tactics of some of his counterparts.
“He’d bristle at the thought but, like it or not, Waleed Aly is now a household name,” Pickering added.
Monday’s cover of the Autumn issue of @mensstylemag – the man whose ISIS editorial for @theprojecttv has been viewed 30 million times, Mr Waleed Aly, discusses celebrity, social media and “representing”. Don’t forget to also visit us at mensstyle.com.au launching Monday. Clothes by @ralphlauren. Shoot by @duncan_killick_photo Styling by @kimjpayne #waleedaly #theprojecttv #tennetwork #autumnissue #menswear #style #fashion #politics #mensstyle #cover #magazines
“The great thing about him is that’s he’s a common sense individual who has wide appeal. Here’s this Muslim man who barracks for the Richmond Tigers coming out of academia and into the world of commercial TV, his moment has come.”
Aly appears looking stylish in Ralph Lauren, but says the term ‘celebrity’ never crossed his mind as an accurate description of himself.
“I still don’t regard myself as a celebrity and I find the whole notion laughable, really. I come from a world where the thing that’s mattered most is the content or the issue, not the personality, and I still approach it that way,” Aly said.
In the new issue, he also downplays the way in which he acts as a representative of modern Islam.
“I don’t walk out on air feeling the burden of representation… I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of being representative… of anything! I have no authority to claim I’m representative. I haven’t won an election or anything,” he said in the article.
Aly’s Men’s Style cover comes as the brand launched its website yesterday, coming full circle as a multi-platform entity.
Moving to a place of more diversity and sophistication, Aly marks a shift in the brand’s attitude, which until last year only featured women on the cover.
Since the change in editorial direction only Australian men like Hugh Jackman and Liam Hemsworth have fronted the magazine.