Dazed is making big changes at the top of its masthead.
Isabella Burley, who has led the title since 2015, is exiting the British youth culture bible, with fast-rising stylist Ibrahim Kamara set to take the reins as editor-in-chief.
Lynette Nylander has been named executive editorial director and will be responsible for shaping the title’s editorial strategy, while Dazed’s current artistic director Jamie Reid and fashion director Emma Wyman are stepping down.
The changes, effective immediately, come as the title founded in 1991 by Jefferson Hack and photographer Rankin enters its 30th year in a world radically reshaped by digital technology, globalisation, economic uncertainty, a public health crisis and a racial reckoning.
In recent years, Kamara, 30, has emerged as one of the most exciting stylistic voices of his generation. The Sierra Leone-born, Gambia-raised, London-dwelling fashion editor’s experimental style, which often examines the complexities at the intersection of Blackness and gender, has pushed the boundaries of high fashion, landing him projects for the likes of Italian and British Vogue, Love, Dazed, System and others.
A recent 86-page editorial for System, styled by Kamara and shot by close collaborator Rafael Pavarotti, included a photograph of a nurse dressed in Prada and personal protective equipment in honour of medical workers. (His mother is a nurse.)
In 2018, he was appointed fashion editor-at-large at i-D magazine and in July 2019 was promoted to senior fashion editor-at-large. His commercial clients include Fenty, Hermès and Stella McCartney.
Nylander, also 30, who was born in London but lives in New York, has held deputy editor titles at both i-D and Teen Vogue and contributes regularly to publications including American Vogue and The New York Times’ T Magazine. She was named one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 in 2017 in part for pushing to make i-D’s fashion coverage more diverse and analytical. She has also consulted for brands such as Pat McGrath Labs, Nike and Fenty.
Under Burley, since December 2018, Dazed’s online traffic grew by 120 percent to 3.2 million monthly unique visitors, while its Instagram following grew 366 percent to 2 million followers.
But the masthead shuffle comes at a particularly challenging time for fashion magazines as media consumption habits evolve and shrinking advertising budgets shift away from traditional media titles to the technology platforms where people increasingly spend time.
Like other publications which have cut back on their print publishing rhythms, Dazed last June scaled back from six to four issues per year, while publisher Dazed Media merged sister magazines AnOther and Another Man, effectively shuttering the men’s title.
“As we celebrate 30 years of Dazed, it’s with sheer pride that on this monumental occasion I step back from the magazine as editor-in-chief handing the baton over to a new team; my friend and long-time collaborator Lynette Nylander and Ib Kamara whose visionary work continues to set the agenda in visual storytelling,” Burley said in a statement.
The first print issue under Kamara and Nylander’s direction will be published in May 2021. Burley recently launched an online distributor of rare books, periodicals, erotica and VHS tapes under the name Climax Books.