QUINN TO QUIT CONDÉ: Stephen Quinn is retiring after working more that 26 years as the publishing director of British Vogue, effective Dec. 22. The announcement was made by Albert Read, managing director of Condé Nast Britain, on Wednesday and Quinn’s successor will be named in due course. Quinn is the latest of the old guard to leave the British publication. There were numerous changes afoot at the glossy which saw a number of editors such as Alexandra Shulman, Emily Sheffield, Frances Bentley and Fiona Golfar depart as new editor in chief Edward Enninful brings in his own team and a slew of celebrity contributors.
“Stephen Quinn has steered the Vogue business spectacularly for more than a quarter of a century,” Read said. “And is still working at maximum power in his 70s. Stephen brings a unique level of charm to each meeting and exchange, while his reputation as a firebrand is well recorded. He is a strident defender of the fashion bible and an executive who relishes a battle. One of the great characters of the media industry, respected and loved by all his staff and those who work alongside him, Vogue House and the fashion and media industries will miss the ebullient and very mighty Quinn.”
During Quinn’s tenure at British Vogue, he published 312 issues, sold 42,500 display ad pages and secured ad revenues of more than 430 million pounds. Quinn’s largest issue to date was the June 2016 Centenary issue of 464 pages, which brought in 266 ad pages.
“It’s been a privilege to champion Vogue with intensity, passion and ferocity,” Quinn said. “I’ve relished every day in the office, every skirmish with an agency, every meeting with a client. I will leave Vogue in the strongest position possible and with a crack commercial team in place. 2018 will be my time, but first I’m looking forward to ensuring the December issue, the debut under the editorship of Edward Enninful, is a blockbuster from a commercial perspective, and will relish securing every possible business opportunity between now and the end of this year.”
He joined Condé Nast in 1988 to launch British GQ and transitioned in 1992 to publishing director of British Vogue.
Born in County Kilkenny in southern Ireland, Quinn was an orphan and was brought up by his adoptive parents. He moved to England at age 17, studied accounting and worked in advertising sales at Nova Magazine, followed by Over 21 Magazine. He transitioned to Hearst U.K. as an advertising manager at Harpers & Queen. He became an ad director followed by publisher at that title.
The publishing veteran was inducted into the PPA Hall of Fame in 2015. A recipient of the 2015 CEW Special Industry Award, he also received the Fragrance Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and the the Lifetime Achievement Award from Magazines Ireland in 2016.
Nicholas Coleridge, chairman of Condé Nast Britain, said he has known and worked with Stephen for more than 40 years. “He is, without a doubt, the senior advertising honcho in the magazine industry,” said Coleridge, who himself is transitioning into a less day-to-day role at the U.K. magazine publisher. “A distinguished negotiator and business operator known to every client, to every brand president and [managing director], to every agency — in London, in Milan, Paris and New York. Stephen has sold more glossy advertising than anyone else alive in Britain today. He holds incredibly strong views, is famous for his outbursts, is well read, a brilliant motivator. And he always wears red socks.”