NEW YORK, United States — Condé Nast has named a successor to star editor Phillip Picardi, who led the transformation of Teen Vogue into a top performer for the troubled publishing giant. The teen title attracted nation-wide attention in the United States for its sharp political coverage following the election of Donald Trump.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner, currently the fashion editor at New York Magazine and the Cut, will take the reins at Teen Vogue on October 18. Picardi, who held the title of chief content officer at Teen Vogue and was a favorite of Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, is exiting the company later this month to become editor-in-chief of Out Magazine. Last year, Picardi conceived and launched Condé Nast’s digital-only LGBTQ-focused publication Them, which will now hire a new leader.
Peoples Wagner will assume the title of editor-in-chief, last held by Elaine Welteroth until she left Condé Nast in January, shortly after Teen Vogue ceased its print activities. In her new role, Peoples Wagner will oversee digital, social, video and events including the Teen Vogue Summit.
Peoples Wagner joins the American publisher as it is trying to navigate the transition to digital media, which has put a serious dent in print advertising revenue, resulting in steep losses last year. Condé Nast is currently focused on cost-cutting, streamlining operational redundancies and growing digital revenue, which equalled print revenue for the first time in the second quarter of 2018. The company hopes to return to profitability in 2020.
Teen Vogue now attracts more than 5 million unique visitors per month, according to ComScore, a 9 percent increase over the same period in 2017. Last year, audiences were as high as 12.4 million, according to Conde Nast’s internal metrics. Like many titles, TeenVogue.com’s overall audience numbers took a hit when Facebook adjusted its algorithm in 2017.
“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.”
In June, Teen Vogue hosted its second Summit for over 600 readers with an interest in activism in New York, featuring panels and workshops with speakers including Cynthia Nixon, Al Gore and Emma Gonzales. The next Summit in Los Angeles in November is focused on career development and feature Serena Williams and Cara Delevingne, among others.
Peoples Wagner, the Cut’s fashion editor since 2015, is known for tackling race, culture and politics through the lens of fashion and beauty in her work — highlighting the lack of diversity on the runway and in street style coverage and covering fashion and style for a wide range of body types. Her September 2018 article “Everywhere and Nowhere: What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion” was widely read in the industry and beyond.
Peoples Wagner began her career in the fashion closet at Amy Astley’s Teen Vogue, where she later returned as a fashion market assistant before working at Style.com. In 2017, she won the ASME Next award for outstanding achievement by magazine journalists under the age of 30.
“When Lindsay came to the Cut it was immediately apparent that she knew how she wanted to use her voice to change the fashion world,” said the Cut’s editor-in-chief and president Stella Bugbee. “She’s got a keen eye for talent and a strong point of view on style. It’s a very good sign that Conde Nast can recognize it. I’ll miss her enormously but am so excited for her to blaze a trail.”
“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.”