Elaine Welteroth & Phillip Picardi - How Teen Vogue Has Grown Up

February 13, 2017 - Elaine Welteroth & Phillip Picardi 02/13/2017 Views: 38,209

Teen Vogue's Elaine Welteroth and Phillip Picardi weigh in on how the magazine has become a politically and socially aware voice for young women. (5:15)

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Elaine Welterothand Phillip Picardi.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Welcome to the show.

-Thank you.-Thank you for having us.

Welcome to Trump's America.

-Indeed.-Because this...

-this is-is a strangemoment, right? -It is.

Teen Vogue, here to talk,

in essence, uh, politics,

which is not somethingthat Teen Vogue is known for.

Well, I mean,I think that young people

are particularlycivically engaged right now.

We saw with Standing Rock,we saw with Black Lives Matter,

that young people were leadingthese revolutions

and these movements,and were on the front lines.

And so we really wantedto make a point,

as the new leadershipof Teen Vogue,

to really talk meaningfullyto those readers

and show young women

that they canbe interested in politics,

that they shouldbe interested in politics,

and that they should have a firmopinion about what's going on.

(cheering, applause)

It's... It's been-it's beencatching on.

Let's-let's talk a little bitabout the issue itself

before we-wego into the numbers,

which has beendoing really well.

Uh, but you-you've come outwith a new format now,

so the magazine's not gonna comeout, uh, ten times a year,

but now it's gonna be quarterly,and each issue has a theme.

Like, for instance, this one,it says, like, you know,

the sex, the coming out,the obsession, the heartbreak,

but it's really the love issue.

Yeah. It's all about young love.

I think the one thingthat we can all agree with

is that the world just needsmore love right now.

-(cheering, applause)-And... Right?

So that's...that's what we focused on

for our first issueout of the gates.

We have Bella Hadid,who's a supermodel,

talking about, you know,finding her strength

-after a very public breakup.-Yeah.

Uh, we have pop starTroye Sevian, who talks about

what it's liketo be queer and...

young and queerin Trump's America.

And I thinkmy favorite piece, actually,

in the entire issue is, um,

a story about an 18-year-oldSyrian refugee girl

who talks about her harrowingtale of leaving her home

in search of freedom and findinglove on the other side.

So you know, every...

-(cheering and applause)-Thank you. It's...

it's really all about self-love.And, um, for us,

you know, Teen Vogue has grownup a lot in the last 14 years.

And so we wanted a magazinethat reflected that.

And so we're actually biggerand better than we've ever been.

We're literally physicallytaller, um, to stand out

on the newsstand to showeveryone that, you know,

a-a big evolution's underwayat Teen Vogue.

Here-Here's a-a questionmost people would have.

-They would say,"You are Teen Vogue. -Yes.

"You are known for fashion.Stay out of politics.

What the hell do you guys knowabout politics anyway?"

Mm. Well, listen, those...these two things

-are not mutually exclusive,right? -That was like...

That was gangster.That was like, "Mm."

That could've beenyour response. "Mm."

-"Mm." Enough said.-That is my response.

But, listen, these two thingsare not mutually exclusive.

Right? You know, Elaine and Ihave worked together

for a long time,and we've always been interested

in beauty and fashion as a wayto represent yourselves

and tell a story. And so to tella teenager that she should stick

to lip gloss, um, whenshe's being directly impacted

by the policies, uh, and-andthey're directly affecting

her lifestyle and the lifestyleof those around her

is, frankly, irresponsible.And we want to make sure

-that we have space to showthat. -(cheering and applause)

It's powerful.Have you.. have you seen...

You know, everyone is afraidof losing business

when they get involvedin the conversation.

Have you seen a decline?Have people gone, "Hey, thanks,

Teen Vogue, we're signing out.No politics for us"?

Quite the opposite, actually.

Um, since, uh, Phil has comeon board, we actually gone

from two million uniquesto ten million uniques

on TeenVogue.com. So creditto all the work you're doing.

And, you know, Philand the digital team have done

a tremendous job reallytransforming TeenVogue.com

from being mainly a fashion site

to becoming a-a really credible,uh, political news source

-that directly speaksto young women. -Yeah.

And that's so importantright now.

And then, you know, on theflip side, for the print side,

we actually are upin print subscriptions,

which we're really excitedabout.

And I thinkthat just speaks to the idea

that compelling,consistent content

that has a very specific voice

is always going to be valuable,

particularly whenyou're focused on, you know,

giving a voice and a faceto underrepresented groups.

And I have to say, like,you know, for many brands,

I think the digital andprint voices can feel separate.

For Teen Vogue, our collaboration

and our working together hasmade a very consistent product.

You know,to work in digital media,

-we have 70 stories we publisha day on the site. -Wow.

So it's a lotthat comes across our desks.

To make spacefor the marginalized

and for people whose voicesand stories are not told

in a print magazine and onthe covers of these magazines,

in particular, means a lot.It's putting your money

where your mouth is, and I...and I think our audience

really represents that,and it's a testament

-to Elaine and Marie's work.-If-if you have haters

who say, "What do you guys knowabout journalism?"

-how do you respond?-I say that Teen Vogue

has, uh, as much right to be atthe table talking about politics

as every young woman doesin America right now.

-Absolutely.-(cheering and applause)

-That's as great a response asyou're gonna get. -You tell 'em.

-Thank you so much for beinghere. -Thank you for having us.

Thank you for what you're doing.You guys are doing

an amazing job.The new issue of Teen Vogue

will be available onnational newsstands February 21.

And you can go to TeenVogue.comto read the cover stories now.

Elaine Welterothand Phillip Picardi, everybody!