Garage magazine is looking to grow its fashion coverage with some new editorial positions.
The Vice Media property founded by Dasha Zhukova has hired its first features director in Laia Garcia. She joins from The Wing, the women’s club, where she was a deputy editor for its internal magazine No Man’s Land and previously had stints at Refinery29 and the now-defunct Lenny Letter, the Hearst-operated feminist newsletter started by Lena Dunham and producer Jenni Konner.
Garcia said she’s looking to “expand the Garage universe” in her role and she plans to “continue to foster the innovation and diversity that they’re loved for.”
Garage has also promoted Gabriella Karefa-Johnson to be the new fashion director, a role that’s been vacant since the start of 2018 when Phoebe Arnold left for a position with Elle U.K. Karefa-Johnson has been with Garage since 2017 and previously worked as its style director. She will now be leading the fashion team and related projects at the magazine. She said Garage is working to “redefine what fashion can look like, at a time when the industry is primed for something entirely new.”
As for the changes to Garage’s small staff, editor in chief Mark Guiducci said it “aligns with Garage’s future-facing direction” and the goal of, in his estimation, the magazine remaining at “the forefront of culture.”
While Garage operates somewhat as an entity independent of Vice, in that it maintains its own site, Vice as a whole is going through some changes as of late. The company started off the year with a round of layoffs for 10 percent of its staff, or roughly 250 employees, in what was called a “global restructuring.” Since then, Vice, under the leadership of still-new chief executive officer Nancy Dubuc, has continued with some re-branding of the company as a whole.
At its NewFronts presentation earlier this month, the one-time bad boy of digital media went with a message of “brand safety” for advertisers. And Vice has since folded some of its individual verticals into the main page of the site, redesigned the site and stopped hosting any aggregated content. All of the changes come at a time when Vice and other big digital outlets, like BuzzFeed and Vox, have been unable to reach steady profitability, even after many years in operation and many billions in market valuations.
Vice alone has raised $1.4 billion in funding in recent years. The most recent round was in June 2017, when private equity firm TPG invested another $450 million based on a $5.3 billion valuation. But such high-flying days seem to be over. Earlier this year, Disney, one of Vice’s main investors, wrote down its $353 million stake in the company, a move in corporate finance that means an assets value has either been greatly reduced or even become worthless.
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