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Dirk Standen, Editorial Head of Condé Nast’s In-House Agency, to Exit

The former editor-in-chief of Style.com headed editorial at the US publisher’s in-house agency since 2015.
Dirk Standen | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Chantal Fernandez

NEW YORK, United States — Editor Dirk Standen is leaving Condé Nast. The former Style.com editor-in-chief stayed with the US publisher after it abruptly shuttered the online runway coverage publication in April 2015, later moving over to lead editorial at what was then its new branded content studio, 23 Stories, now renamed CNX. It's unclear what Standen will do next.

A representative for Condé Nast declined to comment.

“I have had an intense and intensely rewarding 15 years at Condé Nast,” said Standen in a statement shared with BoF. He joined the company as deputy editor of the digital division before leading Style.com for ten years as the publication became one of the most popular industry and consumer destinations for runway images, street style and designer news.

“Being the editor-in-chief of Style.com and working with such a talented group of people was the thrill of a lifetime. Then as founding editor of 23 Stories, I got to work with many leading advertisers and help build a creative agency that quickly became one of the most successful divisions in the company. I’m looking forward to combining those experiences in my next adventure.”

It is understood that the agency's new managing director, the advertising executive Josh Deschner, is restructuring the team and will hire a replacement. Deschner joined the agency — now rebranded as a multi-disciplinary agency CNX — in  November after the agency's former head, chief experience officer Josh Stinchcomb, left the publisher for Dow Jones in August.

Like many of its competitors, Condé Nast established an internal agency in 2015 to expand its ability to produce sponsored content for advertising clients across its portfolio of brands, which includes Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ. With the strategy being that the publisher’s relationships within the industry, editorial talent and existing relationships with audiences would differentiate it from other creative agencies on the market, the agency became a new revenue stream for the challenged print publisher.

During Standen's tenure, 23 Stories expanded its remit from branded content — including a four-part film produced for Gucci and directed by Gia Coppola in 2016 — to custom advertising, such as the 2017 campaign for the Fox television show Empire. The agency also branched into events after Condé Nast acquired the experiential marketing agency Pop2Life and the event technology platform Ribyt last year.

The agency’s lead executive, chief experience officer Josh Stinchcomb, left the publisher for Dow Jones in August. In November, Condé Nast hired advertising executive Josh Deschner as its new managing director.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast continues to grapple with declining print advertising revenue and adapting to a competitive digital media landscape by investing in consumer data, shuttering print editions for titles such as Teen Vogue and Glamour and putting three of its titles up for sale. Last week, Condé Nast and Condé Nast International, formerly separately run subsidiaries of the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, announced that they would merge in 2019 under one global CEO. As a result, chief executive Bob Sauerberg will exit next year.

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