Teen Vogue is a former US print magazine and current online publication launched in 2003 as a sister publication to Vogue, targeted at teenage girls. Like Vogue, it included stories about fashion and celebrities. Since 2015, following a steep decline in sales, the magazine cut back on its print distribution in favor of online content, which has grown significantly. The magazine had also expanded its focus from fashion and beauty to include politics and current affairs. In November 2017, it was announced Teen Vogue would cease its print edition and continue as an online-only publication as part of a new round of cost cuts. The final print issue featured Hillary Clinton on the cover and was on newsstands on December 5, 2017.
|First issue||January 2003|
|Final issue||December 2017|
Teen Vogue was established in 2003 as a spinoff of Vogue and led by former Vogue beauty director Amy Astley under the guidance of Anna Wintour with Gina Sanders as founding publisher. The magazine is published in a smaller 6¾"x9" format to afford it more visibility on shelves and some flexibility getting into a digest size slot at checkout stands. Teen Vogue's original price was $1.50 (USD)--"about as much as a Chap Stick" media critic David Carr noted--and about half the price of contemporaneous magazines aimed at a similar demographic, like Seventeen and YM. At launch, founding editor-in-chief Astley said that topically, Teen Vogue would focus on doing "what we do well, which is fashion, beauty and style." Teen Vogue was the first teen-focused addition to the Condé Nast portfolio, previously focused on adult audiences. The publication began with four test issues, then published six issues in 2003 and ten in 2004.
2016 - 2017 leadership and format changes
In May 2016, Elaine Welteroth was appointed as editor, replacing Astley when she departed to become editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest. Welteroth's appointment at 29 saw her become the youngest editor in Condé Nast's history, and the second African-American. Her appointment came as part of a new leadership team in which she would work closely with digital editorial director Phillip Picardi and creative director Marie Suter.
Teen Vogue suffered from the same sales decline that hit all teen fashion magazines in the new millennium. Its single-copy sales dropped 50 percent in the first six months of 2016. Beginning with the December/January 2017 issue, Teen Vogue began publishing quarterly, cutting back from ten issues per year to four issues per year. The first quarterly issue focused on "young love."
On April 29, 2017, Elaine Welteroth was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. On November 2, 2017 it was announced Teen Vogue would cease its print edition and continue as an online-only publication as part of a new round of cost cuts.
In January 2018, Welteroth left the magazine, and Picardi was named chief content officer. On February 5, 2018, Samhita Mukhopadhyay joined the masthead as executive editor. In March, Marie Suter left the magazine and Condé Nast. She was the creative director in a team with Welteroth and Picardi. She was replaced as creative director by Erin Hover in April 2018. In August, it was announced that Picardi was also leaving the magazine and Condé Nast. In October 2018, it was announced that Lindsay Peoples Wagner would serve as the new Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue.
Since 2016, Teen Vogue has grown substantially in traffic through its website; in January 2017, the magazine's website had 7.9 million US visitors compared to 2.9 million the previous January. This has been attributed to leadership of digital editorial director Picardi, who joined the team in April 2015, as well as the interest of the whole leadership team--with Suter and Welteroth--in broadening the topics covered. The group has made a shift in the magazine to increase its focus on social issues and politics, causing a corresponding growth in web traffic. The politics section has surpassed the entertainment section as the site's most-read section.
Teen Vogue's initial content focused on fashion, aimed at a teen audience; in The New York Times, Jazmine Hughes described this iteration in contrast to contemporaneous teen magazines as less "'finding a prom date' and more 'finding a prom color palette.'"
In December 2016, the magazine published an opinion article by Lauren Duca, the magazine’s weekend editor, entitled "Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America." Within weeks, the essay had been viewed 1.2 million times, and on NPR's All Things Considered, David Folkenflik described the essay as signaling a shift in the magazine's emphasis toward more political and social engagement. According to The New York Times, many media observers were "surprised to see a magazine for teenagers making such a strong political statement," although Folkenflik acknowledged he drew criticism for expressing this surprise and at Slate, Mark Joseph Stern argued the essay was consistent with the magazine's record, since the appointment of Welteroth and Picardi, as a "teen glossy with seriously good political coverage and legal analysis, an outlet for teenagers who—shockingly!—are able to think about fashion and current events simultaneously." At The Atlantic, Sophie Gilbert similarly noted, "The pivot in editorial strategy has drawn praise on social media, with some writers commenting that Teen Vogue is doing a better job of covering important stories in 2016 than legacy news publications."
Sexuality has also been a topic in Teen Vogue's expanded focus. On July 7, 2017, the magazine published a column titled, "Anal Sex: What You Need to Know" which author Gigi Engle described as "anal 101, for teens, beginners and all inquisitive folk." The column drew criticism from some parents for what they viewed as content inappropriate to the target audience of teenage girls. In The Independent, J J Barnes also criticized the column as "bizarre" for focusing on male reproductive anatomy rather than female. Teen Vogue's digital editorial director Phillip Picardi defended the column, saying that backlash was "rooted in homophobia."
In the February 21, 2019 edition of the Eternal Word Television Network program EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, host Catherine Hadro accused Teen Vogue of promoting abortion and criticized the publication for failing to "acknowledge what actually happens in a late-term abortion procedure." During this same year Teen Vogue published a controversial editorial titled “Sex work is real work,” which earned criticism from sex trade survivors and anti-trafficking advocates.
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