Amid much industry speculation, Laura Brown, the executive director of Harper’s Bazaar, has been named editor in chief of InStyle. WWD first reported the news Monday morning. Brown takes the role left open by Ariel Foxman, who departed the company in July after eight years at the helm.
Time Inc. confirmed the news Monday afternoon, offering that Brown will start her new job on August 29.
“With her dynamic point of view, collaborative spirit and deep expertise in fashion and celebrity, Laura will be an exciting and transformative force for InStyle,” said editorial director for the celebrity, entertainment and style group Jess Cagle. “Her rich experience combined with her profound storytelling skills across print, digital, video and television will take this powerful brand to even greater heights.”
Brown joins InStyle after an eleven-year stint at the Hearst-owned fashion glossy where she served as features and special projects and executive director. Brown is known for her easy-going, front-facing personality. She has a strong presence on social media and a show on M2M called “In and Out of Fashion,” where she interviews celebrities, as well as Bazaar’s digital series “The Look.” The editor has also been a featured judge on Bravo’s “The Fashion Show.”
“Taking the lead of such an iconic brand is a dream come true,” Brown said. “InStyle is at the forefront of celebrity, beauty, fashion and popular culture—areas I’ve loved weaving together throughout my career. There are so many exciting opportunities to grow the brand across all platforms. I can’t wait to get started.”
According to sources, The Cut’s editorial director Stella Bugbee was also up for the InStyle gig.
Brown will join Kevin Martinez, who was tapped to oversee the business side of InStyle and StyleWatch last week. Martinez, the former publisher of Maxim, replaced publisher Patrick Connors, who spent a year at Time Inc.
Brown is leaving Bazaar at a time when it just lost accessories director Sam Broekema to InStyle, as well. With a new editor, it is expected that InStyle will undergo more changes on its masthead.
InStyle had long been one of the top fashion books in terms of advertising pages, but in recent years, it has lost its grip as there has been a steady stream of publishers, including Karin Tracy, Nina Lawrence and now Connors.
On the editorial side, the glossy still has work to do in terms of video, social media, upping its Web traffic and putting in place a robust e-commerce section. Under Foxman, the glossy recently relaunched its Web site and overhauled the magazine. The editorial director also helmed a new group called “The InStyle Collection,” which was meant to centralize Time Inc.’s various fashion-centric titles. No word yet on if Brown will take the helm over that group. She did, however, thank her longtime boss, Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey via her Instagram account on Monday, offering that she’d be “nothin’ without her guidance.