Being a publisher is not what it used to be. Once upon a time, Conde Nast’s top employees received perks like car service and clothing allowances. Writers were paid $ 2 / word. Plus, being an editor, or even a writer, meant one had a “glamorous” job – a job that many enviable women of great romantic comedies were also described as having. See: “How to lose a man in 10 days” and “13 out of 30”. But today, being an influencer or a CEO, or otherwise in charge of your own destiny, is more appealing. According to a 2019 CBS News article, “86% of young people said they wanted to be a social media influencer.. ”
However, publishers still have unique access because of their career. They have access to new brands and products before they launch, and they talk to dozens of founders and other business leaders as they research stories and attend industry events. This very access places publishers in a unique position: aware of the saturation within the industry they cover, but also, perhaps, uniquely positioned to create their own brands. At the same time, they usually create their own social media followers.
Editors launching their own brands has become an increasingly common trend, although their founding stories vary. The marks come from side activities or side activities that have become full-time concerts, or in the case of the founding editor-in-chief of Allure, Linda Wells and Beauty of the flesh, they are created with mega-companies, like Revlon. More recent examples include Annie Kreighbaum, formerly Executive Editorial Director at Into The Gloss, who co-founded the body care line Soft services in May. Jane Keltner de Valle, Style Director of Architectural Digest, launched the Paloroma baby care line in August 2020. And Nick Axelrod, former Elle editor and co-founder of Into The Gloss, co-founded the body care line. Necessary in 2019. Lindsay Silberman, formerly Deputy Digital Director of Town & Country, became a full-time content designer before launching her Hotel Lobby Candle brand in 2020.
Emily Farra, Senior Fashion News Editor at Vogue, launched with her boyfriend and best friend Soft Skincare, which is called “skin care for the modern man”. The brand was launched direct to the consumer in November 2019. Farra has just over 10,000 followers on Instagram, Soft Skincare has 1,645.
Farra receives arguments for “dozens of new brands” and has also answered countless questions from the founders regarding this overarching question of “how to break the noise”. She said she never envisioned herself as a brand founder, noting that her work is mainly focused on fashion and that she is not a designer. “My job is really to identify the stories and understand the market, and see what’s missing there,” she said. “And we’re so excited about brands doing something so different and being so intentional about what they’re doing and having a message.” The idea for the brand arose out of organic discussions with her boyfriend, James O’Dwyer, and her friend, Patrick Dolezal, about how existing brands targeting men were “super traditionally masculine and really outdoor, and it just didn’t resonate, “she said.
The diverse skills of the trio helped them bring the brand to life. “James coded our entire website and takes care of all the logistics, then Patrick works in biotechnology. He has a master’s degree in biology and was the mastermind behind the formula, working with our chemist to create the product, ”said Farra. Farra, of course, brought her network, her familiarity with branding and public relations, and her influence at Vogue.
For her part, said Farra, Vogue was extremely supportive of her effort, and the brand the launch was covered on Vogue.com. “People in [the editorial] world realizes that we have a very deep understanding of what it takes to start a brand. We’ve been exposed to so many different parts of the industry so much that it might be worth seeing how you can apply these skills to something else.
New York Times columnist Bee Shapiro founded Ellis Brooklyn in 2015. “I also wanted to test myself, frankly,” she said. “If you test products all the time, you’re like, ‘OK, I have an idea of how to make my own mark on the perfume industry. I wanted to go further in an area that I didn’t have before.
Shapiro said many of his fellow editors-turned-founders were extremely talented at branding, but cautioned that just because someone is gaining an audience on social media, they shouldn’t necessarily be rushing to release a product. “Really think about what you are doing, because you are [already] A brand.’ Whatever you do, do it thoughtfully and do it beautifully… I want to see nicer lines instead of the throwaway stuff that clogs your inbox, ”she said. Shapiro has nearly 8,000 followers on Instagram. Ellis Brooklyn has over 30,000 subscribers and is sold through Sephora, Credo, Ulta and Revolve, among other retailers.
Just last month, Sophia Chabbott, formerly a writer at WWD and Glamor, launched Beauty of the will, which is called “beauty of the garden” and “Mediterranean-inspired skin care”. Chabbott has just under 10,000 Instagram followers. Will launched direct to consumer and at Saks Fifth Avenue with two products, a Turkish Coffee 3-in-1 Mask and a Moroccan Chamomile Sleep Mask.
Chabbott described herself as the editor who never lacked enthusiasm when it came to testing new products, even though, interestingly, she was not a beauty editor but the senior fashion editor. online at Glamor and the digital director of WWD. When she started to think about what she really needed and what would really work, she thought about the concept of “Mediterranean diet for your face”. She considers this to be her “Eureka” moment. As for how her professional background has influenced her path, she said: “The skepticism of journalism and an editor is probably what made me take longer to launch than a lot of brands that I have. have seen. “
“When it came to launching a brand, I knew I had to answer the who, what, where, when, why – I had to be prepared, because all my friends are journalists, they’re publicists. I have to say that one of the most intimidating factors in launching a brand has been talking to publishers and people in the industry because they know. And I know what they know.