Condé Nast has confirmed that Watanabe, who has served as editor-in-chief since 2008, will exit at the end of the year.
Before joining the Vogue Japan team as fashion features editor in 2001, the media veteran worked at Shiseido, Figaro Japan and Elle Japan. She was among a cohort of Condé Nast editors that in 2012 signed an initiative to set safety standards for fashion models; over the course of her career, placed emphasis on the magazine’s promotion of beauty as individuality, rather than conforming to beauty standards. Watanabe’s successor has yet to be named.
Watanabe is just one of several top Vogue editors that have left their respective global titles in recent months, the result of company-wide consolidation efforts that kicked off with the merger of Condé Nast’s international unit with its US division that began in 2019.
Just last week, it was announced that Vogue India editor-in-chief Priya Tanna, who has helmed the Mumbai-based title since its launch in 2007, would exit the business.