Emmrich stepped down after seven years as editor of the section. He confirmed the news via his personal Twitter page.
WWD reached out to Emmrich, who offered: “Seven years is a long run for any department head at the Times, and in fact, I believe I am the last department head appointed by Bill Keller — two executive editors ago — who is still in the same job today. Dean [Baquet, executive editor] and I began talking a little over a year ago about the future of Styles and I told him then that I didn’t think I could do this job for more than another year, that I was eager to move on to the next thing, whatever that turned out to be. And this timing, with the break between show seasons, is a good time for him to start a search for my successor.”
The move comes as The Times has named Hanya Yanagihara editor of T Magazine, the paper’s style glossy.
Emmrich’s departure comes at a somewhat specious time, begging the question of whether or not the editor had been up for the T job, but a spokesman for the company quickly dispelled that, noting, “Stuart’s stepping down is in no way related to Hanya’s appointment.”
When asked whether Jim Windolf, the Men’s Style editor, was up for Emmrich’s job, the rep flatly said, “There is no exact timeline [for filling the role] at the moment.” Windolf did not return inquiries.
The news was delivered to the staff via a memo sent by Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn, who wrote: “In seven years as Styles editor, Stuart Emmrich has elevated our fashion coverage, proven himself to be a great talent scout and created the first new print section in The Times in almost a decade. After that remarkable run, Stuart has decided to write and take on other assignments; we’ll be discussing those opportunities with him in the coming weeks. We are now beginning the search for a new editor to take over one of the most important features jobs in American journalism.”
Under Emmrich, Styles touched on more than fashion, hitting social and political issues, as seen in a 2010 feature, “Eliot Spitzer’s Long, Winding and Slightly Bewildering Road to Redemption.”
He also brought in new columns, Browsing, Scene City and Encounters in Thursday Styles, and new columnists such as Brooks Barnes, Bruce Feiler, Henry Alford, Jessica Bennett and Teddy Wayne. And he recruited Windolf to lead Men’s Style, which Baquet and Kahn called “a huge journalistic success.”
Prior to joining the Styles desk, Emmrich was the Travel editor at the paper, creating franchises like 36 Hours and 52 Places to Go.
Baquet and Kahn ended their note, saying: “The print Styles sections are among the most vibrant parts of the paper. But every changing of the guard is an opportunity to think hard about the future. Besides affirming our dominance of fashion coverage, we would like to use this search as a chance to imagine new lines of lifestyle coverage, and to inject new urgency and newsiness into our features report. We also intend to ensure that Styles, like the rest of the newsroom, focuses mainly on the potential for growth and deeper engagement of our digital audience.”