Marie Claire

Marie Claire has a new editor.

Aya Kanai has been appointed editor in chief of the U.S. edition of Marie Claire, taking the reins from Anne Fulenwider, who has been in charge since 2012. She’s stepping down at the end of the year to launch an entrepreneurial venture focused on women’s health.

Kanai is no stranger to Hearst Magazines, having worked there since 2013. For the past three years, she’s served as its chief fashion director, overseeing the fashion content for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping and Woman’s DayPrior to that, she was fashion director at Cosmopolitan.

Before Hearst, Kanai straddled both media and fashion companies, with stints at Teen Vogue, Nylon and Amazon’s Shopbop, as a well as a number of consulting gigs for the likes of Cole Haan, Bloomingdale’s and Target.

“With 29 international editions, Marie Claire has been about global female empowerment since 1937,” Kanai said. “I’m excited to lead a brand with so many sisters around the world. The Marie Claire woman is confident and clear-thinking, whether it is about her career, the makeup and skin care she uses, the clothes she wears or the technology that powers everything she does. With a growing experiential business, this is a 360-degree brand that speaks to enterprising women on the rise.”

Aya Kanai 

Explaining her decision to leave, Fulenwider pointed to Power Trip — the 36-hour all-female networking trip that she masterminded, which she believes was her greatest accomplishment at Marie Claire. Through that, she connected with many start-ups that inspired her to launch her own entrepreneurial venture.

“It’s been fantastic supporting women from the outside in, and now, I’m looking forward to supporting them from the inside out. I’ve had an amazing 25 years in media business and I’m very excited for all that this next chapter will bring,” she said, not revealing anything else about her new company.

Fulenwider took over from Joanna Coles as editor in chief of Marie Claire. Coles went on to become Hearst’s chief content officer — a position she left in 2018. That job is now filled by Kate Lewis.

Hearst Magazines President Troy Young, who has reportedly been busy trying to dissuade staffers from forming a union, described Kanai as a “superstar editor, strategist and stylist and an incredibly positive and enthusiastic person.”

Young said: “She’s been an editorial leader at Hearst Magazines for over six years, and she has a wonderful eye, both for content and for talent. As with everything she does, Aya’s taking on this new role with energy and excitement and will inspire everyone around her.”

The U.S. edition of Marie Claire has a circulation of 3.3 million, according to MRI-Simmons.

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