LONDON — London media’s revolving door is spinning once again with the exit of Justine Picardie, who is stepping down as editor in chief of the British editions of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.
Hearst U.K. said Monday that Picardie, who had been at the helm of Harper’s for more than seven years, is leaving to write a book called “Miss Dior,” which will be published in the U.K. by Faber & Faber, and in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Picardie, whose previous books include “Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life,” will be leaving in the late autumn and Hearst U.K. said it plans to name a new editor in chief of both titles in due course.
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Blowing a kiss, by Lilian Bassman for Harper’s Bazaar in 1950…. After more than seven truly fulfilling years at Hearst as the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, I have decided to step aside from these roles, in order to write my new book, Miss Dior, which will be published in the UK by @faberbooks and in the US by @fsgbooks I feel immensely privileged to have edited two of the greatest titles in the world. It has been an honour to cherish their remarkable heritage, and a joy to nurture new creative talent, as well as building a team of brilliant and beloved colleagues. I’ll be remaining the role for the next few months – and attending the coming season of shows – so there will be time to ensure a smooth transition and many fond farewells. I’m also looking forward to the future, when I’ll continue to write and contribute to @bazaaruk and @townandcountryuk – while embarking on the next great adventure of life.
“I remain passionate in my commitment to creative excellence, and in my conviction that fashion and feminism can work together as powerful forces for change,” Picardie said. “There will always be a place in my heart for Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, and for my brilliant and beloved colleagues at Hearst, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future, as contributing editor.”
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures in the U.K., Harper’s Bazaar rose 0.1 percent year-on-year in the January-to-June period. Compared with the previous period, the numbers rose 1.1 percent with a combined ABC of 117,588.
The company said Bazaar’s June issue was the best-selling issue in three years. Hearst U.K. also publishes titles including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire and Good Housekeeping.
During her tenure, Picardie launched Bazaar Art and Bazaar At Work in 2013, and the first British edition of Town & Country in 2014. As editor in chief of Town & Country, she has also overseen the growth of the luxury title and its international expansion in circulation, according to Hearst U.K.
Jacqueline Euwe, managing director of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, said Picardie helped the title to reach record sales in a challenging market: “Through Justine’s hard work and incredible dedication, Harper’s Bazaar has cemented itself as a unique, intelligent voice that champions and celebrates women.”
Picardie’s exit follows the promotion last week of James Wildman has been named president of Hearst Magazines Europe.
Wildman, who had previously been president and chief executive officer of Hearst U.K., adds oversight of Hearst magazines in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain to his responsibilities.
Picardie is the latest in a string of longstanding British editors to depart fashion, luxury and lifestyle titles so far this year.
In April, Farrah Storr replaced Hearst U.K. veteran Anne-Marie Curtis at the helm of British Elle, while Gillian de Bono stepped down in July from the Financial Times’ luxury supplement How to Spend It after 25 years. She was replaced by Jo Ellison.