As the search for Glenda Bailey’s successor as editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar goes on, Hearst Corp. executives are casting their net far and wide — and a few new names have come into the picture.
One of those said to be in the running is Fabien Baron. While his name is new to the race, Baron is certainly no stranger to Harper’s, having worked there in the Nineties as creative director when Liz Tilberis was in charge. Most recently, he’s been running his creative agency Baron & Baron, which counts Dior, Zara, Coach and Bottega Veneta among its clients. Other side gigs include a pricy coffee-table tome.
Baron, who was on a retreat in Europe and could not be reached for comment, certainly has the right contact book for the job thanks to his decades of editorial work within fashion and celebrities and he brought in plenty of talent to Interview magazine when he was its editorial director and before it imploded. There are questions, though, over his digital chops.
Samira Nasr, executive fashion director at Vanity Fair since 2018, is also understood to be someone Hearst executives are looking at and certainly has contacts on the creative side, although perhaps not the advertising contacts that some of the other candidates boast. She does have a history at Hearst, though, previously working as Elle’s fashion director. Prior to that, she was style director for InStyle. Nasr could also not be reached for comment.
In addition to Baron and Nasr, Hearst is thought to have extended its search outside of the U.S. and is said to be eyeing some international editors, including Jo Ellison, the new editor of the Financial Times’ How to Spend It and the newspaper’s former fashion editor. Vogue Mexico editor in chief Karla Martinez was also in the running and met with executives last month, sources said, but it’s understood she’s not in a position to move countries for personal reasons. The two declined to comment.
As well as Martinez, someone else who has been at Hearst Tower recently is Phillip Picardi. He has been without a full-time position since mid-December when he stepped down as editor in chief of Pride Media’s Out magazine. However, it’s understood that his visit to Hearst was more of a “let’s get to know each other” meeting and that the Bazaar job wasn’t specifically discussed.
Elsewhere, InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown is another name being repeated in media circles. Brown, who declined to comment, is also no stranger to Harper’s, having worked for the U.S. edition for more than a decade until she departed in 2016 to join InStyle. But sources say she’s happy at InStyle and enjoys the Hollywood side of things and that Bazaar would bring her back to straight fashion.
Still thought to be in the running are digital director Joyann King and Wall Street Journal’s Kristina O’Neill. When the news first broke of Bailey’s departure, King, the executive editorial editor of Bazaar’s web site, was thought to be the frontrunner as elevating her fits in perfectly with the apparent strategy employed by Hearst Magazines president Troy Young of promoting successful web editors from within to take on editor in chief roles.
But as she still hasn’t been put in the top job, there has been more chatter about the role going to an outsider. One source said the thinking is that if she doesn’t get it she will be given an editor in chief’s title at another Hearst publication when a suitable position comes up.
O’Neill has been mentioned as a possible successor to Bailey for several years, but she has always said she is happy at WSJ. Still, with her success with advertisers and events at WSJ, O’Neill seems to be a good option for Bazaar, even as a source pointed to her relative lack of digital experience, something Young and Hearst chief content officer Kate Lewis are hyperfocused on. She does know the magazine well, though, having been its executive editor prior to joining the Journal. O’Neill and King could not be reached for comment.
Interestingly, Elisa Lipsky-Karasz, O’Neill’s deputy, is also thought to be in the running for the Harper’s job. Lipsky Karasz, who’s been at the Journal since 2012, also has a history with Harper’s, having worked there for three years as features director. She declined to comment.
While not commenting on any potential candidates, Kate Lewis, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines, said: “It’s been a delight for me to talk to so many people who think so much of this brand. Those conversations are ongoing – we’re in the midst of fashion month so there will be no announcement until after the shows.”
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