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Discussion in 'Magazines' started by Thread Manager, Sep 14, 2017.
Oh lord that women is in big trouble now and for valid reasons.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner on Her First Year as Editor of Teen Vogue
How she got there, what she’s learned and why she is upending things.
By Iman Stevenson
Oct. 30, 2019
“Every day feels like: ‘Don’t mess this up,’” said Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the editor in chief of Teen Vogue, this past spring. She was in her 25th-floor office at One World Trade Center, where the walls were lined with photographs and a publicist hovered.
This was not quite two years after she published an article in New York magazine called “What It’s Really Like to Be Black and Work in Fashion,” in which she interviewed 100 black industry professionals at nearly every level and corner of the fashion business; not quite two years after she had had “some of the most authentic, and often tearful, conversations about the pains of racism,” according to the article.
And it was not quite two years after Anna Wintour, the artistic director of Condé Nast, who was looking for a new Teen Vogue editor, emailed her with a blank subject line, asking to meet. “I rushed around to buy an outfit and get my hair done,” said Ms. Peoples Wagner, who wore a floral Prada dress.
“‘If you’re going to be in this industry,’” Ms. Peoples Wagner recalled her mother telling her, “‘you’re going to have to be what you needed.’”
This month Ms. Peoples Wagner, 29, is celebrating her one-year anniversary as the youngest editor in chief of a Condé Nast magazine. She is also the company’s third black editor at the top of an American title.
If the first version of Teen Vogue was largely a shrunk-down version of adult Vogue, and a recent version was laced with politics, Ms. Peoples Wagner’s is something else: one that is focused on fashion but also putting “people in the publication that I felt like other publications were too scared to,” she said. At least, publications in the mass-readership space of a glossy web entity.
“Being the only black, female editor in chief in this industry, you carry a lot of responsibility with that,” she said in a phone call this week. She was on her way to Los Angeles for the Teen Vogue Summit, the live event she is remaking. “I think I’ve made a lot of decisions that other people would never take the risk to make.”
From Wisconsin to Manhattan
Ms. Peoples Wagner grew up in Brown Deer, Wis., and it was at her private suburban junior high school that she became acutely aware of race.
The mainstream media in the 2000s for teenage girls was a fever dream of homogeneity; an era of denim miniskirts and Uggs, “The Hills,” “The O.C.,” when editors across all major glossies rotated the same young white starlets between covers.
There were, of course, other lesser-known women on television who shaped Ms. Peoples Wagner’s ideas about beauty, success and identity. If you were a young, black woman in the early 2000s, you got a crash course in what it was like to be a career-minded African-American woman managing life and love thanks to shows like “Girlfriends,” “Half & Half” and “Eve.”
Black millennial women filmmakers like Issa Rae and Lena Waithe have publicly discussed how black sitcoms have shaped the work they produce today.
But “I knew something was a little off,” Ms. Peoples Wagner said of the experience of attending a predominantly white school. It was a jarring contrast to the black church in which she grew up, and it was an experience that continued through college at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, a city that is “literally surrounded by cornfields” she said.
A professor suggested she apply for a role as an intern in Teen Vogue’s fashion closet during her winter break, and after graduation she returned to the magazine as an employee, working full-time while also waitressing and moonlighting in retail.
“When I started at Teen Vogue, it was such a struggle for me,” Ms. Peoples Wagner said. “I’d never cried that much in my life. I felt like this industry would never open its doors to people like me.”
After two years, she moved to Style.com. At the time, she said, fashion and reporting were viewed as separate worlds: “I just didn’t agree.” In 2015, she started at The Cut, New York Magazine’s women-centric vertical, as a fashion market editor.
“She was very ambitious right out the gate,” said Stella Bugbee, the editor in chief and president of The Cut. “She was really excited about featuring new talent and undiscovered talent. She would come to me on a regular basis with a roster of people and say, ‘This person is going to be a really big person.’ I trusted her because she was always right.”
Asked about Ms. Peoples Wagner, Ms. Wintour wrote in an email: “Who better to inspire a whole new generation of Teen Vogue readers to be passionate and proactive about their world than Lindsay?”
Exclusivity? This Vogue Is the Opposite
“I’m not one of those editors in chief who pretends to have it all together and be perfect. I think that makes it more human and more approachable, and makes people want to read Teen Vogue more,” Ms. Peoples Wagner said on the phone. “I think that everything that we’ve done has really been a lot of things that I wish would’ve been around when I was younger, and that I think are really helping young people in shaping their worldview in a positive way.”
She has focused on highlighting new names in the most inclusive sense. She hired Sophia Wilson, a 19-year-old photographer she contacted via Instagram direct message, to shoot a Fenty Beauty article for the publication’s September issue.
“It feels like for so long the fashion industry has been focusing on white photographers,” Ms. Wilson said. “Giving jobs to women of color, especially young women of color, is so important.”
Ms. Peoples Wagner started with a “Young Hollywood” cover featuring seven actors and actresses including Indya Moore and Yalitza Aparicio. Before that, Teen Vogue had never had a trans person of color on the cover, she said earlier this year.
Then came Lil Nas X, the face of this year’s music issue. “A lot of people were posting about him and writing about him because he had a No. 1 song but weren’t giving him the editorials,” Ms. Peoples Wagner said. “So for us to give him his first cover as a young, black, queer artist is probably the best thing I could probably do.”
During New York Fashion Week, Ms. Peoples Wagner created an initiative known as Generation Next that highlighted a diverse set of designers like Anifa Mvuemba of the brand Hanifa and Georgia Fallon of Dyke Sport.
Despite conversation about diversity and inclusion, and advances in representation made on the runway, “I still go to events and P.R. people are shocked that I’m black,” said Channing Hargrove, a fashion news editor at Refinery29.
How fast that changes — if it does change — and how much of that Ms. Peoples Wagner can effect, is one of the questions facing her next. As she is well aware.
A Crazy 12 Months
This has been a year of navigating firsts for Ms. Peoples Wagner. One of those was the Costume Institute Gala (you know it as the Met Ball).
She wore a metallic dress with multicolored ruffles by the designer Rosie Assoulin, a friend, in part because Ms. Assoulin “dresses a lot of women of color first that a lot of other brands didn’t loan to in the beginning,” Ms. Peoples Wagner said.
She speaks from experience, and recalled once asking designers to loan clothes for a photo shoot with Issa Rae for The Cut. It was before the premiere of the HBO series “Insecure,” and, Ms. Peoples Wagner said, “It was like fighting tooth and nail with these brands to get in clothes.”
So far, Ms. Peoples Wagner’s efforts seem to be paying off, not just in clothes, but in web traffic. In July of this year, Teenvogue.com had about 10.5 million unique visitors, its highest number since at least September 2017, according to comScore data.
Condé Nast as a whole is still, in many ways, trying to get its bearings. The company lost more than $120 million in 2017. Over the past few years, the company has laid off staff, shuttered the print version of several titles (including Teen Vogue in 2017), sold others — such as W Magazine and Brides Magazine — reportedly subleased office space in its One World Trade headquarters, and consolidated its United States and international operations.
Yet the role of editor in chief, particularly at a mainstream beauty and fashion publication, is still a prestigious post. It’s just that today for young, ambitious people it often isn’t the destination, but maybe a layover on the way to more flexible and more lucrative pastures.
Elaine Welteroth, for example — one of Ms. Peoples Wagner’s predecessors as Teen Vogue editor — has spoken openly about how much more money she makes in her post-magazine career.
“Leaving the magazine business and working for myself has been an exponential leap in terms of earnings,” Ms. Welteroth said in a recent interview with The Cut.
Eva Chen, formerly of Lucky Magazine (and Teen Vogue), is now a children’s book author and head of fashion partnerships at Instagram.
Ms. Peoples Wagner, too, recently published a book, “Becoming a Fashion Designer,” a project she started before she signed on to Teen Vogue, but she is firmly focused on her day job. “We have one of the most inclusive, diverse staffs” of any Condé Nast magazine, she said. “Most of the people that I’ve hired have been women of color. And I’m really proud of that.”
And yet, she had said, back in her office, “If I had a daughter, I don’t know if I would want her to be in this industry.”
“I’d like to think that if I continue to make these changes and continue to implement these things, and show black girls with cornrows and Afros on covers, that maybe she would feel more included than I did,” she said. “That, to me, is success.”
source | nytimes
I definitely do see your point but in my opinion, the problem is much more deep-rooted than only in the editor. There’s no saying that the EIC shouldn’t be fired, because she definitely should be but it’s not just the editor who makes these kinds of decisions, probably the whole team had some sort of part in doing this issue and that’s what I meant with the lack of diversity being the problem.
And it’s not only about the respect for POC, because that ‘back to black’ thing was much more than a lack of respect for the POC. It clearly was an act of pure ignorance from their side that could’ve possibly been avoided with more people from different backgrounds voicing their opinion in this magazine and in the workgroup behind the scenes.
I don't think that the problematic article is worth resigning, but what she did at the Fashion Week.
Their last black covergirl was in 2014, Liya Kebede. The majority of their covergirls are blonde-haired, blue eyes in a very generic way. Asians? Not a chance! So maybe for Elle Germany readers, black is indeed 'back'.
And I won't feign surprise at her appalling treatment of the guy. There are these pockets in Germany who still turn up their noses at the Turks and it's actually mostly in the middle to upper-class sect.
And it's ironic, since she's got a Bulgarian/Macedonian surname!
Sabine is even a variation of a Turkish name in Macedonia, so go figure.
I agree with you, but at the end you need a boss to inspire, or to take the lead in these matters, but i'm sure she read the "black is back" and thought they were doing a great job. But it doesn't matter where you are from, you need to be socially empathic. Starting from the team until the top position.
And what happened in PFW, it seems that some people are still in high school and play the mean girl role....
WWD spoke with Astley about her long Condé Nast career, turning around AD and rumors of her leading on Vogue someday.
By Kali Hays on October 31, 2019
Amy Astley feels she’s just where she should be.
“My whole life, it’s totally of a piece,” Astley said, sitting in her office on the 26th floor of One World Trade Center, where Condé Nast’s Architectural Digest, the magazine she’s led for three years, is housed. “There’s nothing that pokes out in a funny way.”
She’s in all navy, a long pleated skirt and a crisp top, with layers of jewelry around her neck and on her hands — a mix of art and comfort. Her hair is a gentle blonde and banged, as ever. Astley has a serene quality (she’s just taken up yoga, actually) but is also direct. One can imagine her getting impatient, but it’s difficult to think of anyone not doing what she asks the first time.
As a true Condé Nast lifer — her first job out of college was at House & Garden in the late Eighties, moving on to Vogue to work under Anna Wintour for a decade, which continued as founding editor of Teen Vogue, before taking up with AD — Astley has surely seen plenty that could have turned her snippy or cynical. Neither seem to be the case.
“Some days are tiring, grueling, boring stuff, annoying things, but overall it’s so great,” Astley said. Coming from someone else, this could hit as sycophantic or just phony, but from her it seems real, like she’s been through enough at Condé to appreciate when things are good. Or good enough.
And after three years at AD, about to enter its 100th year in publication, things are indeed looking up. When Astley came in, taking over in mid-2016 from Margaret Russell, she felt the magazine was “stuffy,” lacked “interesting people” but was still “a sleeping beauty.” Even in 2016, when Instagram was very much a thing for magazines, AD had less than 1 million followers, no video angle, a web site that didn’t really work. All of that has since changed: now it has 4.7 million followers on Instagram, 2.3 million on YouTube. Print is still tricky, as the MPA Association for Magazine Media has that audience down about 26 percent, but combined with mobile and video (Condé’s main area of focus these days), AD’s audience overall is up by 50 percent year-to date.
“There was a lot of work to do,” Astley said. But she doesn’t shy away from hard work and doesn’t really appreciate other people who do, something she chalks up to her many years of training to be a professional ballerina. It’s still so much a part of her psyche today that her new yoga practice is proving a challenge.
“When you’re a ballet dancer, you don’t put your hands on the ground, because that would mean you fell down. Never hands on the ground, never.”
A mentality of refusing to fail, along with growing up in a very artistic household — both parents were painters, with her father Irving Taran even showing at Chicago’s well-known Richard Gray Gallery and becoming a college professor of art at Michigan State — put a life in New York on Astley’s mind from a young age. And magazines, those of Condé in particular, seemed like a perfect fit. About 30 years on, she was apparently right.
Here, WWD talks to Astley about her long Condé career, the turnaround of AD and whether or not she’ll end up leading Vogue someday.
WWD: So, how did you not become an artist and how did you not become a dancer?
Amy Astley: Well, I realized I wasn’t going to become a ballet dancer — I wasn’t good enough; my training was a little too erratic in the Midwest. I trained a ton on the East Coast with very good teachers and dancers, but I didn’t have it year-round. Also I don’t really have the right physique for ballet. I was sort of battling my own physique in a way, my feet in particular. In ballet you can’t delude yourself. It’s very clear how good you are very young and whether you’re going to make it. So at 18, I was like, “Mmm, I’m never going to be in New York City Ballet or even a star in a regional company.” I just realized it wasn’t in the cards.
WWD: Did it hit you all at once or was it a realization over time?
A.A.: No, it hit me at the end of my senior year because I didn’t apply to colleges and I didn’t want to go to college — and my dad’s a professor. And I grew up in a college town where everybody was a professor with 10 degrees.
WWD: So a very academic environment, but you were like, no, thanks.
A.A.: Yes, yes. And when I worked at Vogue, sometimes people would be like, “Oh, your parents must be so proud of you,” and I’d be like, “Hmmm” because it would be in kind of a condescending way, like this girl from the Midwest “made it” here, and it’s like, actually they think I’m not very educated when where I grew up…
WWD: But you didn’t go to college?
A.A.: I did go, but I don’t have a Ph.D.
WWD: For shame.
A.A.: Yeah. My parents, their friends all have one. But I did go to Michigan State. I lived in the dorms, but I was in my hometown. Can’t say it was earth shattering for me. I was in love with New York, I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I was 18, realizing “Oh, this isn’t going to happen for me.” It was tough, but I pulled through. Ballet makes you super tough and able to take criticism and assess yourself honestly, which I still try to do.
I would say that the thread throughout my life then was escapism and fantasy. Ballet is a fantasy, and it’s very hard work.
WWD: Meant to look otherworldly.
A.A.: Yes. So the beauty of that and I was a major bookworm. I was in the library as a child, not far from my home, which saved me. I love libraries. I read a lot of books, a lot of books, every week. And I love writing. I’m a word person, a storyteller.
But again, I’m a person who was like, I’m not a novelist, I’m not a person who can write incredible pieces for The New Yorker. I knew that I was a visual person, that kind of storyteller, so I was drawn to magazines as the right fit. And again, I credit ballet for that. I’m an adequate writer but I’m not that level of writer. But I graduated college and came directly back to New York.
WWD: That was the goal?
A.A.: Yeah. I got out of school in three years, had all my AP credits from high school. I was like, “Get me out of here.” Just get me out of Michigan. Though I’m going back this weekend to see my parents so, love Michigan. Super proud of my hometown. It’s beautiful and I appreciate it more and more as I get older.
WWD: Did you come to New York with an internship or a job?
A.A.: I didn’t have a job. I had a lot of friends here from my ballet days, my parents had some friends here. So I lived with family friends on the Bowery. Super rough in the late Eighties. And I went hardcore for Condé Nast, I just loved the magazines. I’d grown up with them and it felt like the right place for me.
WWD: Tell me about starting here, what was that like?
A.A.: I started at House & Garden, as assistant to the editor in chief, Nancy Novogrod. I was a second assistant. There was a typing test back then, you had to type fast. I had to take it three times, because you get nervous. It was a funny time, there were no computers. It seems prehistoric.
WWD: It’s lightning speed now though. Instagram has only been around since 2012. I remember dial-up and even Gen Z is like, huh?
A.A.: I remember having a cell phone when I was like, 25 years old on a Midwest trip and the cell phone was like the size of this [points to very large ceramic mug] and I was like, “I gotta take a call from New York!” The fax changed my life at House & Garden. Elaine Hunt was the first assistant there and she was trained by Mrs. [Diana] Vreeland, so I always say I was trained by Mrs. Vreeland’s assistant. Elaine was an awesome woman, very sweet and polite. She’d always be like, “Amy, that’s not how it’s done…”
WWD: So no screaming from across the room?
A.A.: No, she did not scream, she was a polite lady. I was very lucky I had so many amazing women in my life, starting with my mom, but the women. There were a lot of great men, too, and it was because of a man that I ended up working in Vogue, but the women there. Really generous, really took me under their wing.
But I did everything assistant-y, and it was a different time. For a busy person, you needed two people to man the phone because it rang all day. We would put handwritten messages on a clipboard outside [Nancy Novogrod’s] office. Pages and pages. I think now, yes, I work with digital natives and they are lucky in that way, but on the other hand, I find many of them cannot spell, cannot write and don’t know how to answer the phone and don’t know how to speak.
WWD: Right. Some seem to have a real lack of basic skills. It can be strange.
A.A.: Yes. But that’s how I was trained, you talk to people. And I worked my way up and H&G, until it was closed by Mr. Newhouse; when he bought AD, he closed H&G in 1993. S.I. always wanted AD. It was a more lucrative business, H&G was super elegant, very European, tasteful, and AD had a more glitzy L.A., American factor to it. And it was a better business.
I also worked for Wendy Goodman at H&G and really, I learned everything from Wendy. I was her assistant doing production on all of her shoots and she was glamorous and still is. I answered her phone and learned how she spoke to people and how she scouted houses and got houses. It’s very intimate going into peoples’ homes and then you’re going to pass judgment — yes or no. She had a real finesse about it. And she’s still working and writing books.
WWD: What do you think it was about you that led these women see you as a mentee?
A.A.: I was Midwestern and had probably a soft quality to me, but I was tough, super tough. In ballet they’re always telling you you’re not good enough, always, always. And you’re fat. It’s brutal and you’re a teenager being told this. But it gives you a toughness. Discipline. But I think I was polite and sweet and eager to learn and I was eager to serve, too. I took good care of all of them.
WWD: Nothing was beneath you.
A.A.: Oh, god no. I was always learning, I didn’t even know what Women’s Wear Daily was.
WWD: Amy, wow…
A.A.: My boyfriend then, who’s now my husband, his aunt in Michigan was very chic and she read W, so I had some sense. I would read it and think: “I must learn about Pat Buckley!” It was a different time in New York, when people like that reigned. But also at House & Garden, there weren’t that many young people. People tend to get into houses as they get older, but I really got the bug early. Then the job I loved was over.
But an editor named Charles Gandee recommended me to Anna for two positions open in the Vogue beauty department. And Charles said you should call Amy, she works for Wendy Goodman, and Anna knew Wendy. Her sister Tonne [Goodman] worked [at Vogue], so…it’s a small world.
WWD: Smaller every day.
A.A.: Seriously. And again, don’t burn bridges. I teach people I work with if you behave correctly you will not regret that. So I went to Vogue.
WWD: And what year is this?
A.A.: That was like, ’93 or ’94. Anna had probably been there five years? And I just thought, “OK, I’ll work for Vogue for a year or two.” I wanted to go back to shelter, but it was sort of a recession-y time, there weren’t a lot of jobs, especially in shelter. I didn’t expect that Vogue would be such a good fit for me, I didn’t really have any expectations. Honestly, I thought I’d just go and write a lot of copy there and broaden my horizons a little bit. But I ended up staying just shy of 10 years.
Now, at AD people say to me, “Well, where do you get the houses?” I started at H&G so I knew shelter people, decorators, interior designers, garden people, architects, but then I had 10 years at Vogue followed by 13 years at Teen Vogue, so in the fashion and beauty industry. It was all that training that came to fruition here at this job.
WWD: Teen Vogue, was it sad for you when it closed print?
A.A.: I had 13 amazing years there, it was like editor in chief boot camp. I learned how to put together a team, build a digital business, which was important to me even though the company wasn’t emphasizing it. We had the first social media manager.
WWD: That’s a nice way to say it, “not emphasizing it.”
A.A.: People didn’t know what a social media manager was and we had one.
WWD: Right, like “What is the Internet?”
A.A.: Mm-hmm, all of those things. So, was it sad to leave Teen Vogue? No, totally ready.
I’m lucky I was there in the heyday, when it was such a great business. I am a business person, I’m an entrepreneur, you have to face reality. Even when I was editing Teen Vogue — I have two girls and I can remember looking at them on YouTube when, frankly, most grownups didn’t know what YouTube was. My girls would just watch it for hours, some girl in Michigan in her bedroom doing cat eyes or lip lining. I thought, “Ohhh, times have changed.” We’re still feeling the reverberations of that in our industry, for better and worse. But the consumer speaks and that’s it. If they’d rather get it on digital that’s what you should do.
WWD: And it sounds like you had it in the back of your mind from early on that you wanted to be back in shelter.
A.A.: I always loved shelter. For me to come back full circle, it’s an amazing story. And it’s so positive, I’m so fortunate. I was so ready to move on from Teen Vogue. For me AD was the perfect job. And again, I know I sound like a yogi, “the gratitude,” “hashtag gratitude,” but what else can you feel in this world that we live in? How many people love their job? Some days are tiring, grueling, boring stuff, annoying things, but overall it’s so great.
There are about five people here who are house whisperers, and I’m one of them. I actively do that, I’m not an editor in chief who just waits for things to land on my desk. I write, I edit copy and I look for houses and I host events. I’m super active. And I’ve worked really hard to change the magazine. The first cover I did was Marc Jacobs, which was a “get,” and came out of my friendship with him. Put his dog on the cover with his Instagram handle. People were shocked. The printers called to ask if it was a mistake.
WWD: Amazing, and just a few years ago.
A.A.: I wanted to clearly say, “This is the new AD.”
WWD: Were people excited or freaked out?
A.A.: People were excited. And to this day people talk to me about Marc Jacobs’ house. People were surprised because it was so chic and they got to see he’s a major collector with an amazing eye. They thought he was going to have a “wild child” house or something.
I did that issue in like, four weeks. It was me calling Giovanna [Battaglia], calling Laure [Hériard Dubreuil], calling Amanda Brooks.
WWD: You hadn’t been expecting to take this job for a long time and gotten to prepare?
A.A.: Nooo. By the time I was aware of it I had to quickly pull the issue together.
WWD: All of the digital stuff AD does, the people that appear online, in videos, is it all crossover from the magazine?
A.A.: Some are and some aren’t. That’s another amazing thing, the halo prestige of the brand, people are very happy now to be on other platforms and not in the magazine. We can put different content in different places, which is ideal. You don’t want to just see all of the magazine content everywhere. Videos are going up every week that are not attached to the magazine. So it’s its own business, thank god.
When I started, people only wanted to be in the magazine, but we’ve been able to build up our web site, which is about 5 million uniques now and our Instagram is 4.7 million [followers]. When I started it was under 1 million. It was small.
WWD: So it’s on your mind to get people not only with a fabulous home but someone that will play to digital?
A.A.: Oh, 100 percent. The October issue was Cara and Poppy [Delevingne]. I’m thinking fun house, they’re cute, and the video is really popular on YouTube. Cara and Poppy’s taste might not be everybody’s taste but it’s fun and it’s fun to look at. You wouldn’t have seen people like that in the old AD. It was very stuffy.
WWD: It seems like your vision is more high-end entertainment then being an arbiter of good taste.
A.A.: I hope that we’re directional in influencing taste and pushing design forward. Taste is subjective and I would defer to, I think, Diana Vreeland, who said something like, “Bad taste can be a lot more fun than good taste.” Also Alex Lieberman, who said, “You’ve got to have something in poor taste in every issue.”
I still think that. Just something fun. Like Cara and Poppy, we showed their velvet paintings and stripper pole in a party room.
WWD: Yeah, that’s a design choice.
A.A.: Yeah. I’m not saying I’m an arbiter of taste, but this is how they’re living and they’re relevant, current, young. Take a look, if you don’t like it you can send a letter.
WWD: Do you get a lot of letters?
A.A.: Not a lot, but look, when you get a letter, it’s from a different type of reader.
WWD: Like a time capsule coming right to you.
A.A.: Mm-hmm. We also get an incredible amount of feedback on YouTube and on Instagram.
I want to appeal to different audiences. I don’t want AD to be in aspic in time like it’s just for old, tasteful people. That’s the kiss of death.
WWD: Has there been something so far that got a negative reaction you weren’t expecting?
A.A.: Last March, the covers with Kris Jenner and Kylie. But I’m happy to be part of the conversation, that’s what I want. I want there to be buzz around us and what we’re doing. Kris and Kylie, yes it’s polarizing, you get people saying “This is the worst,” “How can you do this?,” “AD is over,” and they are free to express their opinion. Bring it on.
WWD: And how did the issue do?
A.A.: Great. Tons of web traffic, tons of people watched the video, the covers sold really well and people talked about it.
WWD: What more could you want?
A.A.: Right. And people still talk to me about Marc. No one says, “Do you remember that house with the bone colored walls and tasteful sofa?” We have some of that, but you can’t do whole issues of it month after month. I’m a data freak. I love the analytics and you see the chic issues that are super elevated, they are not the ones killing it online, so it’s a balance.
WWD: Why launch the offshoots Clever and AD Pro?
A.A.: I wanted two things, for AD to be dominant in shelter and broad. I don’t know how you can be dominant in shelter if you’re just for a small swath of wealthy people. I didn’t love that when I first came here, people would say, “Oh AD? Are you sure you want to do that?” I thought, “This is a sleeping beauty.” We’ve scratched the surface now, but there’s so much more we can do with it. It’s why it remains engaging for me, otherwise I would be bored. With Clever, we’ve barely scratched the surface, so much more to do there.
WWD: Like its own print offshoot?
A.A.: No, I’m not super interested in doing a print offshoot. If my bosses tell me to do it, I’ll do it, but I don’t think that’s what the audience necessarily wants.
We did a nice product collaboration with Urban Outfitters, we could have more of that. I have video ambitions. But you can’t do or have everything all at once. With the structure of the company, you have to earn it. We have limited resources and lots of mouths, lots of babies in the nest, so what are you bringing that means you should get more dinner?
WWD: So you’re happy here? You don’t want to take Vogue? People mention…
A.A.: I have no designs on any other job. You can hear the passion when I’m talking about it, right? I love it, it’s like a tailor-made job for me.
source | wwd
Ugh, Amy is really the ultimate Wintour protege. It's just all about buzz. For once I'd like an editor to call a spade a spade and admit 'I don't particularly agree with it, but it's what we have to do to say alive!' It'll never be an American though, probably a Euro. But then they're not that reliant on the Kardashian/Jenner crowd to begin with.
It almost sounds like she DOESN'T want to receive written letters. Notice the shady response....'when you get a letter, it’s from a different type of reader'. And yet a letter is actually an indication that a reader would not only have read your magazine but would also be invested enough to address something to you on a more personal level which would require some effort. Smh. She's perfect for CN!
Love her or hate her, Amy Astley is to stay in CN, and she sure does know it.
Let’s not pretend how CN removed her from Teen Vogue to AD and saved her. Look at where Teen Vogue is now. Meanwhile AD is still on print.
They could’ve easily ditched her. Resign and never reappointed - like what happened to her successors.
Look out for Amy. She’s eyeing Vogue, and she sure is a heartbeat away from it.
With all the Elle Germany scandal i cannot help to wonder if Vogue Germany team suffers from the same kind of ignorance...There is no very much of diversity on their covers too...
Insider: Even at 70, Vogue's Anna Wintour is still 'Machiavellian'
By Merle Ginsberg | November 2, 2019 | 2:34pm
Sunday is Anna Wintour’s 70th birthday and she apparently only wants one thing: “She’s hoping for a lot more grandkids,” said a colleague of the legendary Vogue editor.
“You would have thought Anna might have cut back her hours after becoming a grandmother,” added the colleague of Wintour, who is granny to Caroline, 2, and 9-month-old Ella, the daughters of Wintour’s son Charlie Shaffer, 34, and his wife, Lizzy. “But she hasn’t. She still doing it all.”
Indeed, Wintour shows no signs of inching toward retirement. In addition to running Vogue and shepherding Condé’s entire stable as the global content adviser, she stars in myriad videos on Vogue.com and YouTube, oversees the annual Met Gala — which benefits the Anna Wintour Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and just led a 12-part series for MasterClass, the online learning academy, called #HowToBeABoss. She’s been the fashion design consultant for the Tony Awards over the past five years and the native Londoner was named a Dame by Queen Elizabeth in 2017.
“She’s not just aging gracefully,” said one Vogue writer who requested anonymity. “She’s aging fashionably. She’s changing the whole game of who can wear what at what age.”
“Anna knows how epic this [birthday] is,” said the colleague, who has known Wintour for many years. “But she’s never played by the rules so why would she start now? Just like she’s reinvented everything else, she’s reinventing 70.”
Last week, New York Magazine published a scathing account of Condé Nast’s decline, revealing losses of $120 million in 2017. This year alone, the company has sold Golf Digest, W and Brides, after shuttering the print versions of Glamour, Self and Teen Vogue in recent years.
While rumors of Wintour’s retirement have swirled in Manhattan’s power circles for the past few years, one well-placed source believes the icon is key should the Newhouse family that owns Condé Nast ever decide to sell the company.
“They’re dependent on Anna’s glam image,” said the source.
(A Condé Nast spokesperson referred The Post to this quote: “Condé Nast has not been, is not, and will not be for sale,” Steven Newhouse told New York Magazine.)
But some feel that Wintour, who behind her signature sunglasses has long been known as the most enigmatic and unknowable woman in fashion, is spreading herself too thin. The New York Magazine story described her hosting a breakfast in her office for fifty women on the “Vogue100” — a group that appears to be a prestigious honor list, but is really a membership program with access to exclusive events and parties, costing $100,000.
“I have a jewelry-designer friend who got an invite [to be in the Vogue100],” said one former Condé editor who now works at Hearst. “She was so flattered until she realized she was being asked to pay a hundred thousand dollars for the right to get 15 minutes with Anna.”
Wintour has also taken heat for supporting the hiring of former New York Times Book Review editor Radhika Jones to be the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair after longtime editor Graydon Carter resigned. Under Jones, the magazine has been the subject of much criticism. As New York Magazine reported, “The critiques of Jones’ Vanity Fair came hard and fast: She’d sucked the glamour and mischief out of it and replaced it with bland, earnest celebrity virtue signaling. The magazine’s stories rarely seem to break through the noise.”
“I’m convinced she’s trying to kill Vanity Fair! Because as Vanity Fair declines, Vogue looks better,” said a Vanity Fair source. “She’s Machiavellian.”
“That could not be further from the truth, Anna has been a champion of Radhika from day one,” said a Condé Nast spokesperson.
A second Vanity Fair source calls Wintour’s oversight a conflict of interest.
“They need to separate her out as the editor of Vogue and the [US] artistic director of Condé Nast,” said the second Vanity Fair source. “It’s a total conflict to have both those jobs. She’s made a disaster of every other [Condé] magazine — they all look just like Vogue.”
Still, said one Wintour source, “Anna is surrounded by sycophants.”
As for her birthday, said the media colleague, “Anna’s very big on her friends’ and family’s birthdays but she’s never been big on her own. She’ll [likely] celebrate with a small group at a restaurant or at a small dinner in her townhouse on Sullivan Street.”
Among her close circle of friends are Anne McNally, the Vanity Fair writer and ex-wife of former Indochine and Odeon restaurateur Keith McNally; socialite landscape designer Miranda Brooks; and artist Hugo Guinness. The media colleague predicts Wintour will also likely celebrate with her children, their spouses and her granddaughters at her 62-acre weekend home in Mastic Beach, LI.
“Anna is very family-oriented. Her family are the only people she trusts,” said the media colleague.
Wintour’s daughter, Bee Shaffer, 32, works for the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns, among other properties, Broadway’s Lyric and Hudson theatres. Bee married Francesco Carrozzini, son of the late Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani, last year. Charlie Shaffer, Wintour’s son, is a doctor. Both are the product of Wintour’s 1984-1999 marriage to child psychiatrist Dr. David Shaffer.
One person who won’t likely be at any party: Shelby Bryan, Wintour’s longtime paramour whom she met in 1999 while both were married to other people.
“When the affair went public, she was embarrassed — but it only added to her allure,” said one former Vogue employee. “They had a very combustible connection.”
But in 2013, it was revealed Bryan owed the IRS some $1.2 million in back taxes.
“That was the beginning of the end,” said the Wintour source. “He started to become a liability. It’s been quite a while since they’ve been seen together.”
There have been rumors that the editor is involved with British actor Bill Nighy — “kind of a Shelby look-alike,” said the Wintour source — with the two spotted together at plays in New York and London.
In her MasterClass, Wintour — who has had a version of the same bob haircut since she was a teenager — reveals the secret of her success: discipline. She rises at 4 a.m., plays an hour of tennis at 5:45, then gets her hair and makeup done before going to work at Condé’s One World Trade Center headquarters. Her breakfast consists of “Starbucks,” she said, while lunch is a hamburger with no bun. By 5 p.m., after a meeting-crammed day, she’s heading home to her Sullivan Street townhouse with what she calls her “magic box of tricks”: layouts, photos and sample pages from Conde’s various magazines. Her social life consists of work events or small dinners, and she’s in bed every night by 10 p.m.
While some people were shocked she would drop her icy veil to do the MasterClass, the former Vogue employee thinks it was simply time. “I think Anna figured she was the subject of so much gossip, a movie [“The Devil Wears Prada”] and two documentaries [“The September Issue” and “First Monday in May”], she might as well use it to her and Condé’s advantage. At this point, she’s almost bigger than the brand.”
That said, according to her longtime colleague, Wintour still has her eyes on a political ambassadorship.
“She needs a graceful exit strategy. Her next move has to have the appearance of even more cachet,” the colleague said. “But given that her current [presidential] candidate of choice is [long shot] Pete Buttigieg, she may not have a friend in the next White House.”
According to a Vogue spokesperson, “Anna has not chosen a candidate.”
But it could be hard to give up her visibility, said a former Condé editor.
“Anna could get six board seats — at Estée Lauder, at Apple — and make half a million a year for a few meetings. But then she’d be disconnected. Her access would be cut off. The invites would stop coming and the phone would stop ringing. She couldn’t handle that.”
On Nov. 17, Wintour is getting one of her top honors yet: She will be one of the honorees of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery American Portrait Gala, alongside the likes of Jeff Bezos and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Her friends say that, despite being one of the most famous women in fashion, Wintour is still misunderstood.
“She gives everyone around her a seat at the table. And she’s incredibly charming when she needs to be,” said the Wintour source. “She can be a real flirt.”
A member of Wintour’s inner circle seconded that.
“People don’t understand Anna, which is fine, she doesn’t need them to. But she is actually shy, kind, loyal, a great friend, fiercely intelligent and cultured beyond belief,” said the inner-circle source. “I keep telling her the best thing she could do now is write a book. Many books. Then she’d have ‘bestselling author’ to add to her list of accomplishments.”
source | pagesix
Anna Wintour cultivating a certain reputation and becoming more iconic than the Vogue brand itself has been a great decision for her, and it gave everyone some harmless entertainment when times were good.
But over the long term, it's not been great for the magazine - the executives at Conde Nast have placed so many bets on the idea that she was the one to drive things forward with a strong vision - because in times of uncertainty, people will respond to those who present themselves as an authority figure.
But it doesn't take much to realise that someone so successful at running a magazine that's connected to the fashion and celebrity world knows all about how to sway people's perceptions for the better, regardless of what's really going on underneath. And a lot of things can get covered up or ignored for a long time with these methods - including anyone's lack of financial or business success behind the scenes.
And I also get the feeling we've lost out on a lot of editors who could be doing good at magazines right now - no matter how much you nurture talent, if your schtick is to be THE authority figure, you can't ever allow others to rise up and present a strong alternative to yourself, because you would be diluting your own authority, your image, your bargaining tool.
You'd cultivate disciples who'd follow in your footsteps, but you'd never allow genuine challengers who'd seek to fill your shoes on a different level to yourself.
I agree and that applies to all industries...in this specific case i would love to know more concrete cases beside the obvious "Nuclear Wintour" Gossip. I think a lot what people say is more like gossip so i guess it's a little bit confusing.... I don't Think Grace or Tonee will ever wanted to fill AW shoes...Virginia or Sally maybe...
As Men Are Canceled, So Too Their Magazine Subscriptions
By Alex Williams Nov. 2, 2019
Imagine if Kodak had answered the threat of digital photography by pivoting from film to outdoor grills.
Imagine if Blockbuster had taken on the challenge from Netflix by shifting from DVDs to fast food.
Imagine if men’s magazines stared down the post-#MeToo manpocalypse by disowning men.
Maybe the last one isn’t so hypothetical?
At a time when calls are growing for the Oscars, Tonys and Emmys to follow the Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards in erasing gendered categories, and to do away with gender-specific magazines, bro bibles like GQ, Esquire and Playboy seem poised to do a backpedal of Michael Jackson moonwalk proportions from the formula that kept them perched at the publishing pinnacle for a half-century.
Namely, being a print version of your father, offering up bourbon-breathed tutorials on the arts of tie knotting, fly casting, and skirt chasing.
In the gender tornado of 2019, men’s magazines, it seems, are canceling themselves. (The internet’s assault on glossy print isn’t helping either.)
“How do you make a so-called men’s magazine in the thick of what has justifiably become the Shut Up and Listen moment?” wrote Will Welch, the editor of GQ, in a cri de coeur introduction to this month’s “New Masculinity” issue. “One way we’ve addressed it,” he continued, “is by making a magazine that isn’t really trying to be exclusively for or about men at all.
So gender fluid it’s soggy, the 128-page issue might well have been themed “No Masculinity,” with its androgynous cover image of Pharrell Williams looking like an inverted tulip in a floor-length yellow Moncler Pierpaolo Piccioli coat, followed by ruminations on the “weaponized” male body by Thomas Page McBee, a transgender writer and boxer; a defense of makeup for men by EJ Johnson, Magic Johnson’s son whose fashion tastes run toward fur shawls and diamond chokers; and a debunking of the power of testosterone itself by Katrina Karkazis, a cultural anthropologist and author.
Such untraditional content is a survival strategy for glossies with a Y chromosome tilt in this homo novus era, where every reference to masculinity wears an implied “toxic” like a hair shirt.
Even Playboy, mired in identity crisis since dial-up modems, is suddenly woke.
The magazine has rechristened its Bunnies as “brand ambassadors,” and even embarked on a short-lived experiment to cut out the nudes. After the death of its founder Hugh Hefner in 2017, Playboy has morphed into an art-book quarterly that ditched its old tee-hee-hee motto, “Entertainment for Men,” for a gender-blinkered “Entertainment for All.”
It’s an open question whether the men who now turn to Pornhub and its ilk for the kind of “entertainment” that Playboy built an empire on even noticed.
Even so, the magazine, which long held up Hef, with his phallic-symbol pipe and star-studded skin romps at the Playboy Mansion, as the epitome of American straight male aspiration, is turning the brand’s hyper-male, hyper-hetero legacy on its head.
The magazine’s new leadership team consists of a gay man (the executive editor Shane Singh) and two women (the creative director Erica Loewy and Anna Wilson, who is in charge of photography and multimedia), all millennials.
Recent feature articles include profiles of Andrea Drummer, a female African-American chef who runs a cannabis-centric restaurant in Los Angeles, and King Princess, a genderqueer pop singer who is as a symbol of self-acceptance to young L.G.B.T.Q. fans.
For a cover image this summer, the team commissioned the fine-art photographer Ed Freeman (a rare man who still shoots for Playboy, though he is gay) for an arty underwater shot featuring three featuring female activists for causes like ocean conservation and H.I.V. awareness.
“The water,” Mr. Singh explained to Jessica Bennett of The New York Times for an article in August, “is meant to represent gender and sexual fluidity.”
Change is also afoot at Esquire, the tweediest of the men’s titles, which for decades carried a whiff of dad’s old cedar chest full of pocketknives and Mickey Mantle baseball cards.
This past June, the magazine installed its second editor, Michael Sebastian, in three years. Mr. Sebastian, 39, made his name as Esquire’s digital director, where he oversaw a significant rise in traffic to the site, according to Hearst.
His appointment as editor prompted industry speculation that he was going to go “full Cosmo,” chasing Instagram-friendly content and trending topics on Twitter just like Cosmopolitan, Esquire’s sister publication at Hearst that has lately been pursuing data as hotly as it long proselytized multiple orgasms.
The move seemed symbolic. Mr. Sebastian replaced Jay Fielden, a dapper Texan given to Hemingway and Cifonelli suits, who had departed weeks before, citing the lure of new (and unspecified) possibilities. Mr. Fielden had vowed to revive the “literary charisma” of the magazine of Fitzgerald and Dos Passos. He may have fit the image of the “Esquire man” too well for the times.
In one of his first interviews after he got the job, Mr. Sebastian took a swipe at the publishing patriarchy, telling The Wall Street Journal that he wanted to get away from the idea “that both the Esquire reader and writer is a middle-age white guy who likes brown liquor and brown leather.”
In fairness to Mr. Fielden, he said pretty much the same thing years ago, before Harvey Weinstein and his ilk sent half the population to the penalty box. “There’s no cigar smoke wafting through the pages,” he said to The New York Times in 2017, “and the obligatory three B’s are gone, too — brown liquor, boxing and bullfighting.”
As the same article reported, Mr. Fielden had won the job in part because he courted more male readers to the traditionally feminine Town & Country, the Hearst title he headed before Esquire.
At Esquire, he vowed to lure more female readers and ditched boys’ club staples like the print version of the “Women We Love” issue.
Apparently, it was not enough. Could anything be? Perhaps not, as manhood itself is being interrogated, scrutinized and radically revised.
The very idea of a men’s magazine now sounds “as hopelessly passé as a private gentlemen’s club,” according to a recent article, “The End of Men’s Magazines,” in City Journal, which is not exactly a progressive organ (the magazine is published by the Manhattan Institute, a free-market think tank).
Maybe. Or maybe not.
Details is done. Maxim has evolved its identity from a frat-house must-read to a cosmopolitan lifestyle magazine, an about-face that began under a female editor and fashion veteran, Kate Lanphear, who departed in 2015.
But Esquire has already survived the Great Depression, World War II, disco, yuppies and the dot-com bust. It’s still here.
And plenty of readers are still here, too, even in a brutal publishing climate that has forced august women’s titles like Glamour, Seventeen, Self, and Redbook to retreat from print for the web.
Despite a plunge in newsstand sales that has plagued the whole industry, Esquire still had an estimated total average circulation of 709,000 for the first six months of this year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media; the figure accounts for both print and digital subscriptions as well as single-copy sales.
GQ, too, is a long, long way from life support, with a figure of 934,000 for the same period, according to the alliance.
Times change, sometimes violently. But recent history is full of apparent anachronisms (gas guzzlers, Birkenstocks, Donald Trump) that managed an unlikely second act. And men’s magazines have proven pretty adept at sniffing out the shifts in culture, both trivial and seismic, over the decades — which is one reason they have been around for decades.
Esquire may have swaggered into the 1960s as the Don Draper of magazines, but as the old order began to crumble thanks to Betty Friedan, the Black Panthers and many others, the magazine’s editor, Harold Hayes, quickly detoured into a flower-power-era version of woke.
He commissioned Susan Sontag’s dispatch from Hanoi at the height of the Vietnam War, and James Baldwin’s ruminations on race in America after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Even Playboy opened its pages to thought-provoking interviews with Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X and Fidel Castro while sprinkling in at least a few pictorials featuring Playmates of color.
Yes, that was a different time. We’ve come a long way from Gloria Steinem decrying “The Moral Disarmament of Betty Coed” thanks to the Pill in Esquire in 1962, to Hannah Gadsby, a lesbian comedian, taking aim at “hypermasculine man-babies” in GQ’s “New Masculinity” issue.
source | nytimes
Met Gala 2020 theme has been announced:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Announces Its 2020 Theme: “About Time: Fashion and Duration”
Alexandra Shulman via The Guardian:
The criticism when I became editor-in-chief of Vogue amused me. People said I was a words rather than a pictures person and that I had never worked in fashion before. My job was just to prove I could do it – which I did for 25 years. Michelle Obama was the one cover star I’d loved to have got. I tried… and failed.
I lose my temper when I get frustrated, but usually only with the people I love. I did lose my temper twice at Vogue – both times with men. Are Anna Wintour and I on each other’s Christmas card list? I don’t think either of us sends Christmas cards. So no.
It appears that Polish Bazaar, Cosmo, Esquire, Playboy, as well as other titles from the Marquard Media are closing.
Article in Polish: "Playboy", "CKM", "Cosmopolitan" znikają z rynku. Marquard Media zamyka magazyny w Polsce | Z kraju