It’s crazy to think that Teen Vogue has only been around for 10 years. What started in 2003 as an extension of Vogue magazine to a different market, is now a fashion bible of its own. With a subscription rate of 909,630 subscriptions, Anna Wintour, the reigning editor-in-chief of Vogue, selected Amy Astley to launch Teen Vogue. Since then, Astley has brought Teen Vogue to a circulation of over one million readers, has seen the magazine be nominated twice for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence, written a New York Times Bestseller in October 2009 titled The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, and has pioneered annual industry events such as Teen Vogue’s Fashion University and the Young Hollywood party. Fashion for the Y generation has been redefined forever.
Teen Vogue, although not the first of its kind, remains one of the two successful teen fashion magazines. (Seventeen magazine being the other.) CosmoGirl began in 1999 as a teen spin off of Cosmopolitan magazine, and Elle Girl, a spin off of Elle magazine, began in 2001. However, both failed by 2006. This left only their online publications which eventually merged with Seventeen’s website. So what is it about the pages of this teen zine that makes it not only better than the rest of its kind but affluent to this day? Maybe its the fact that they feature cover models who aren’t just celebrities but actual fashion models or fashion icons. Or their consistent publication of editorials on real life issues affecting people our age. Or maybe it’s just their pure talent to scope out the latest and greatest trends. After all, their motto is “Fashion starts here” and they pride themselves with the knowledge that “young trendsetters everywhere know there’s only one authentic source for emerging fashion, beauty and pop culture delivered with the sophistication of the Vogue brand” (courtesy of www.condenast.com).
At the foundation of this magazine is an incredible editor-in-chief: Amy Astley. She began her career in 1989 at House and Garden, where she worked as an associate editor. Astley joined Vogue in 1993 as a beauty associate, and became the Beauty Director by the following year. She worked at Vogue until she was chosen by Anna Wintour to launch Teen Vogue in 2003. According to the Condé Nast website, as a 23-year veteran of Condé Nast, Astley has been named one of Forbes magazine’s most powerful U.S. fashion editors, for continuously fueling the creative world of teen culture, beauty, entertainment, and fashion through print editorial, web and social media outlets.
What else doe she ignite flawlessly? Fashion editors of the future. Eva Chen worked at Teen Vogue for seven years as the beauty director and later covering features articles, special projects and digital development, according to her interview in Lucky magazine where she now holds the Editor-in-Chief position. Jane Keltner de Valle is the Fashion News Director for Teen Vogue which means she is responsible for editing the View, Shopping Spree, as well as the fashion features, and also pens the first-person column titled Fashion Blogger. I think it’s safe to say that if you make it at Teen Vogue, you can make it anywhere. Why? Because you establish an audience of loyal readers who recognize your name, follow you on social media, and wherever you go in your career after your time at TV, you will be followed by the same readers you’ve started your career with. Many of the contributors that start out at Teen Vogue are in adolescence and their early 20s. Proving to people everywhere that age is just a number and talent is timeless.
Whether it’s the models, the contributors, the articles, or the photographs, there is no question that Teen Vogue is the teen fashion bible. So, next time you pick up Condé Nast’s youngest targeted audience publication, appreciate the history behind every single glamourous, glossy page.
*originally published on March 23, 2014*