Lindsay Peoples Wagner shares how she disrupted the fashion world.
By Jasmine I. Espy
As the youngest Editor-In-Chief of any Conde Nast magazine, Lindsay Peoples Wagner announced she will be leaving Teen Vogue to be the new editor-in-chief of The Cut which is a return after an almost six year stint as the Fashion Market Editor. She said inclusivity would be her number-one priority on her return to the publication.
In a recent New York Times article she says, “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.” Securing this role was not an easy feat. Wagner recalls about less than a decade ago working as a Fashion Assistant Intern at Teen Vogue Magazine where her dedication was put to the test. She described her experience to an organic chemistry class for a student in pre-med. Instead of a lab, you're in the fashion closet where bosses are adorned with Chanel rather than lab coats, and you're tasked with securing a Miu Miu sample in Paris for a shoot in LA. Only the strong and truly passionate survive, and she did.
Growing up in Wisconsin, fashion wasn't exactly something she witnessed on a daily basis. However, her grandmother, who was also her best friend growing up, encouraged her to craft a career in fashion. When spending time with her grandmother she recalls going to an all-Black women senior citizen center where they would make clothes and rugs. While this was the spark, she says it took her a long time to get her foot in the door. Peoples Wagner graduated from Buena Vista University with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Communication. It wasn't until she attended Buena Vista where she took art and journalism courses that one of her professors encouraged her to apply for an internship at Teen Vogue. She then went on to study Communications Arts at the University of London and Fashion Business at the London College of Fashion. Her first internship was with Levi Strauss & Co. in 2010 as a Styling and Public Relations Intern. She spent five more months in public relations as a Freelance Public Relations Assistant at Starworks Group before working at Teen Vogue.
Each role has enabled her to expand her skills to styling, writing, editing, and more. As the EIC of Teen Vogue, she focused on creating content that felt fresh and unapologetic. She recalls working at Teen Vogue as an intern full-time and changing mannequins at DKNY from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. while also working at a Jewish restaurant on weekends.
She reminds young fashionistas there's no blueprint to the top. You find what works for you and if you really want it you'll do whatever you can to reach your goals. When hiring new talent she says she looks for hunger rather than those trying to chase the false image of all glitz all glam all the time. Just like her, she wants prospective hires to showcase their ambitions and bring something fresh and new to the table.