There’s a new leader in town as Teen Vogue announces Lindsay Peoples Wagner as successor to Condé Nast favourite, Phillip Picardi who will exit the title this month to take up position as Editor-in-Chief of Out Magazine.
Upon the initial news of Picardi’s exit, the industry remained surprised given his status as rising star in the industry and a favourite of Condé Nast artistic director, Anna Wintour. During his time at Teen Vogue, Picardi transformed the title into one of the top performers within the Condé Nast portfolio, while also launching and overseeing the digital vertical, Them, Condé Nast’s digital-only LGBTQ publication. No mention was made of Them within internal announcements of Peoples Wagner’s appointment and it’s expected a new leader will be hired for the title in the near future.
Within her new role, Peoples Wagner will oversee Teen Vogue’s digital, social and video platforms along with events including the Teen Vogue Summit which takes place in Los Angeles this November.
Prior to this appointment, Peoples Wagner held position as fashion editor at New York Magazine and the Cut, a role she’s held since 2015. During her time at the Cut she established an authoritative voice tackling issues of race, culture and politics through the lens of fashion and beauty within her work with a notable spotlight on diversity on the runway and in street style as well as covering fashion and style for a wide range of body types. Her article “Everywhere and Nowhere: What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion” as published by the Cut in September 2018 was widely read in the industry and beyond.
The appointment at Condé Nast is somewhat of a homecoming for Peoples Wagner who began her career as an intern at Amy Astley’s Teen Vogue. Following her internship she later returned to the title as fashion market assistant before moving on to a role at the now defunct Style.com. In 2017, she was awarded the ASME Next award for outstanding achievement by magazine journalists under the age of 30.
“As a former intern and assistant at Teen Vogue, I’m so excited to come full circle and be back at a time when there is nothing more powerful or important than a young person who is passionate about change,” said Peoples Wagner in a statement. “I’m looking forward to our coverage—whether it be on fashion, politics, celebrities or beauty — being both necessary and dynamic to cultural conversations.”
She joins Teen Vogue and Condé Nast as the American publisher tries to navigate the transition into digital media. While Teen Vogue has ceased print activities, it has experienced a 9 per cent increase in unique visitors per month over the same period in 2017, now boasting over 5 million unique visitors per month according to ComScore. Following huge dents in print advertising revenue which led to steep losses in the previous year, Condé Nast continues to focus on cost-cutting, streamlining operational redundancies and growing digital revenue with the hope to return to profitability in 2020.
“Lindsay is a gifted talent who can equally inspire and challenge her audiences,” said Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor-in-chief of Vogue, in a statement. “She brings a sophistication and fresh perspective to the cultural moments and social themes that activate our Teen Vogue readers and we are very excited to have her back at Condé Nast.”
Teen Vogue hosted its second Summit in June with over 600 readers in attendance. There was a focus on activism in New York, featuring panels and workshops with speakers including Cynthia Nixon, Al Gore and Emma Gonzales. Teen Vogue‘s upcoming Teen Vogue Summit, headlined by Serena Williams, is planned for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Los Angeles with the theme highlighting career development.