“The Cut Has a New Editor-in-Chief,” the outlet, a subsidiary of New York magazine announced on Monday afternoon, sharing news that Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner would be returning to the woman-centric style site as its new leader after serving as the site’s fashion market editor from 2015 to 2018.
Indeed, when Peoples Wagner left The Cut in 2018 to lead the masthead of Teen Vogue, it was another full-circle moment, as the Brown Deer, Wis., native began her career in fashion media as an intern in the Condé Nast publication’s fashion closet—a rough entry, as she recounted to the New York Times in 2019:
“When I started at Teen Vogue, it was such a struggle for me,” Peoples Wagner said. “I’d never cried that much in my life. I felt like this industry would never open its doors to people like me.”
Instead, she broke many of those doors down herself, becoming the youngest editor-in-chief in Condé Nast history on the heels of a groundbreaking exposé for The Cut which surveyed 100 Black fashion industry insiders to reveal “What It’s Really Like to Be Black and Work in Fashion.” That feature, widely quoted and cited in years since (including here at The Glow Up), arguably helped lay much of the groundwork for the “reckoning” we’ve witnessed in the fashion industry in recent years, most especially in 2020. It also garnered the attention of none other than Condé Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour herself, who personally reached out to Peoples Wagner to lure her to Teen Vogue.
In the years since she has yet to disappoint. In 2020, Peoples Wagner was not only an honoree of The Root 100 but co-founded the Black In Fashion Council alongside marketing expert Sandrine Charles. Less than a year since its launch, the duo has already garnered honors from the British Fashion Awards and Footwear News Awards, among others, and amassing an executive board of industry heavyweights including Fenty Maison creative director Jahleel Weaver, designer Victor Glemaud, Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniel, Gucci’s Antoine Phillips and more.
In her return to The Cut, Peoples Wagner will succeed the site’s former editor-in-chief Stella Bugbee, who departed to become editor-at-large of parent site New York Magazine. Reflecting on the ingenuity and drive that has fueled Peoples Wagner’s stratospheric rise, Bugbee told The Cut:
Not long after Lindsay first came to the Cut, she came into my office with a prepared deck of printouts and pitched an entirely new column that she would cast, style, and write, even though it was beyond the scope of her role...She had incredible ambition mixed with a sure-footed confidence. And as it turns out, she was a phenomenal scout for talent that would become household names, from Cardi B to Little Yachty, Ashley Graham, and Issa Rae. I remember thinking, Someday Lindsay should run the Cut, so, naturally, I’m thrilled that she will be coming back to take the reins. Her commitment to creating an inclusive fashion community is unparalleled in the industry. She’s a force who’s just at the beginning of her career, and I look forward to watching her as she blazes her path forward.
Speaking to the Times on Monday, Peoples Wagner indicated that her next tenure at The Cut would continue to prove insightful and innovative in its approach: “We’re all multifaceted human beings and we can enjoy fashion and want to enjoy some fun but also really care about the state of the world and where we are in politics,” she said. “I think the Cut has done a really good job of not putting women in boxes.
“Inclusivity—whether it be race, ethnicity, sexuality, any difference in background—I think it’s really important to hear different voices and different walks of life and how people are able to continue to be resilient throughout this crazy tough pandemic time in our world,” she added.
What we know for sure is that Peoples Wagner will be bringing the whole of herself and her identity to the role, with full awareness of what her presence means to both the industry and the readership she serves—and she’s more than ready for the next challenge. “Being the only Black, female editor in chief in this industry, you carry a lot of responsibility with that,” she told the Times while commemorating her first anniversary at the helm of Teen Vogue in 2019. “I think I’ve made a lot of decisions that other people would never take the risk to make.”