Fashion Veteran Constance White Named Essence Editor
Marcia Ann Gillespie, former editor-in-chief of Essence, will also join the magazine as special projects director.
Constance C.R. White, a veteran journalist who is style director, brand consultant and spokeswoman for eBay, the online company, has been named editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, Time Inc. announced on Thursday.
"White was previously the founding Fashion Editor for Talk magazine, a celebrated Style Reporter for The New York Times and the Executive Fashion Editor for Elle magazine. She also served as Associate Editor at Women's Wear Daily and W magazine and began her career at Ms. magazine, as assistant to co-Founder Gloria Steinem," an announcement said.
Angela Burt-Murray, editor at Essence magazine for five years, announced in November that she was stepping down. Since then, Sheryl Tucker, former executive editor of Time Inc., has been acting editor-in-chief.
Tucker and Marcia Ann Gillespie, former editor-in-chief of Essence, assisted in the search and selection. Gillespie will join Essence as special projects director, effective immediately, the announcement said. "Marcia will work closely with the Editor-in-Chief and the President on a range of issues regarding the magazine and the ESSENCE brand."
"Constance White brings fresh vision and a powerful commitment to the mission of celebrating and empowering black women. She’s a bright star," Gillespie said.
"Being asked to continue working with her and the rest of the amazing team at Essence on books and other brand extensions as the Director of Special Projects was a delicious surprise and I’m absolutely delighted to be of service."
Essence, founded in 1970, became the nation's largest-circulation magazine targeting African Americans at the end of 2010 as Ebony, the perennial leader, dropped further in circulation. Black women are the primary readers of both magazines.
"As a visionary and consummate communicator, Constance has established an unparalleled connection with women across multiple platforms," Essence President Michelle Ebanks said in a statement. "Constance is passionate about the needs of Black women and making sure that they have the tools to make their boldest dreams come true."
Additionally, White is the author of "Style Noir," a 1998 book on black style written while she was a fashion writer at the Times. White has written extensively on culture, style, lifestyle and contemporary issues, and her work has appeared in British Vogue, Glamour, Essence and the International Herald Tribune, the announcement said. White earned a B.A. in journalism from New York University and has been active in the National Association of Black Journalists and the Black Retail Action Group.
Facebook users: Sign up for the "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" fan page.