Lindsay Peoples

Lindsay Peoples

by Melissa Magsaysay

The Recently Appointed Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue is Charting a New Course for Fashion

It’s a well known concept that “fashion in cyclical”. While this pertains more to trends coming and going (and coming back around again) it also applies to the fact that designers and media traditionally mine the same tropes for what and who is “in”.

Thankfully that’s changed in recent years thanks to passionate journalists who yearn to see more diversity and relevant topics covered in mainstream fashion and lifestyle publications and writer Lindsay Peoples is leading the charge of an exciting crop of editors that are actively moving the needle toward change for the better.

She was recently appointed as the new editor in chief of Teen Vogue (the Conde Nast publications youngest ever) to take the magazine further into the realm where today’s youth and the real issues they’re facing are being represented.

At her previous post as New York Magazine/The Cut’s fashion editor, Peoples consistently kept diversity (from models to stories) in the daily mix. It was and is a seamless approach to pushing media in a more positive, relevant and modern direction to cut through the endless amounts of content and keep readers informed, inspired and actively involved in important issues about, and also beyond, fashion.

“We don’t need more editors to pick out trend pages on stripes—we need strong and creative voices who know that there is more to fashion than clothing.”

Here, she talks about her accidental foray into fashion and making the industry a nicer and more positive place to work.

Q&A with Lindsay

Have you always wanted to be a writer? About fashion/beauty specifically?

No—I truly fell into fashion because of different things that happened in my life. When I was growing up I spent my summers at a senior citizens center with my grandmother and learned how to sew, knit, and crochet everything. It made me really love the possibilities of fashion but I didn’t realize it was possible as a career until much later on because there wasn’t much diversity and representation for women of color. After my first internship at Teen Vogue I realized how much I loved fashion and desired to create content that I needed when I was younger.

How would you describe your personal style?

Honestly a mix of things! Everyone knows I love the color red, it’s a personality alignment more than just a color that looks good on me. But I’m really drawn to simple silhouettes, bold colors and I love denim even though it’s impossible to find denim nowadays.

Your focus on diversity and inclusivity in your work is amazing and inspiring. Is this something you set out to incorporate into your stories and how you select topics?

After I started in fashion, I soon realized how unstable of an environment it was—its very taxing emotionally, and can thrive in insecurities and exclusivity. And I came to the conclusion that in order for it to be sustainable for me to stay in fashion that I had to be able to use my voice or it was time to get a desk job. We don’t need more editors to pick out trend pages on stripes—we need strong and creative voices who know that there is more to fashion than clothing.

Did you feel reflected in fashion and lifestyle media growing up?

Not at all. I remember my mother coming to my bedroom as a teenager and seeing all my magazine posters and complaining that there weren’t enough ads of black women in the high fashion pictures. Being in fashion always seemed like a very distant dream, and still is in some ways.

Do you feel like the fashion industry has made great strides to be more diverse and inclusive?

Yes but only on the surface.

What more can we be doing to strengthen and further the conversation around size inclusivity?

Have more conversations! There are so many things we are taught traditionally that we shouldn’t talk about or that people assume is too political.

Is there a story (or 2, 3...) you feel most proud of at this point in your career? What is it and why is it a highlight for you?

“Black in Fashion”, ““Thin White Women are Killing Street Style” and my “inclusive styling of both celebrities and women that’s on The Cut.

You have done amazing coverage of plus size bloggers, style and fashion in general, do you notice a real point of frustration for plus size women who want to really participate in fashion?

It’s heartbreaking to hear women ask for more fashion, higher fashion, chicer clothing. Even if I can’t afford The Row I know that I can go into a store and buy something and that’s an extreme privilege that people tend to shy away from—the sheer access and opportunity isn’t there. Fast fashion brands are great but I think there’s a lot more room for brands to create pieces that speak to women for the big and little moments in life; it’s great to be able to get a top on ASOS but what if you want a sophisticated dress for your first big job, a nice dress for your rehearsal dinner or just something special when you have extra money on payday? It’s the freedom of choices that needs to be greater.

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