Cindi Leive

CAUSE CELEBRE: Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive has had a full plate over the last few months. In addition to her daily diet of numerous fashion week appearances in New York and abroad, prepping for her magazine’s marquee event “Glamour Women of the Year” in November — and editing the magazine — Leive has been working on a buzzy new project. On Tuesday morning, the editor in chief will host a high-profile panel at The Apollo Theater in Harlem that will include First Lady Michelle Obama, Charlize Theron and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The trio will speak with Leive about the issue of global education for adolescent girls, which is a punctuation mark, of sorts, for Glamour’s The Girl Project, which it launched in 2014, a year after it honored humanitarian Malala Yousafzai with a Women of The Year prize.

This story first appeared in the September 25, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

According to Leive, the event, which is sponsored by Maybelline New York, may become a mainstay for the Condé Nast-owned magazine going forward, and it could expand to Glamour’s international editions.

“We are in discussions right now,” she said regarding an international rollout. “It’s a bit too soon to say more about that.”

Leive said the talk would not be policy-driven, but instead be more conversational about the impact that education has had on lives of the panelists.

The auditorium, which holds about 1,500, will welcome young girls from far away places such as Kenya, Ghana and Pakistan. Leive said the panel — and the First Lady’s appearance — dovetails with the announcement of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, which highlight the need for adolescent girls’ education across the globe. The event will be livestreamed by AOL.

When asked why Glamour chose to champion adolescent girls as opposed to something directly affecting the magazine’s core readership — women in their mid-30s to early 40s — Leive said the issue “transcended” age. She did admit that Glamour’s efforts to reach younger readers is an element to its growth strategy, which includes events, social media, Web and video.

“When I hear our Millennial readers talk in particular, they talk about having very purpose-driven lives…they want the brands that they care about to stand for something, too,” she said, before addressing her core readers. “If you’re a parent then you might relate to them [the girls] as a mother. But honestly, I feel that the appeal of these stories goes beyond that. There’s just something that’s so moving, as a woman of any age, to read the story of young girls…who are getting up at 3 in the morning to walk the 15 or 20 miles to get to their classroom, and here we are hitting our snooze button all the time,” she offered. “There’s something very simple and beautiful and motivating about that.”

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