This week, Elaine Welteroth, 30, became the youngest editor in chief at a Condé Nast magazine title, officially taking over the helm of Teen Vogue, a publication she has guided since the spring of 2016. She is the second African-American to occupy such an editor spot at the company, alongside Keija Minor, who was named EIC of Brides magazine in 2012.
The day before Condé Nast made the announcement, artistic director Anna Wintour had this to say about Teen Vogue, during an interview with The Business of Fashion conducted earlier in the month:
“I was at a dinner the other night with a couple of very high-powered people in the media industry, and what do they want to do? They want to talk about Teen Vogue. And I was down talking to a writer from The Washington Post not so long about working on one of our titles and he wants to talk about Teen Vogue. So they’ve become part of the conversation in a very original and wonderful way. It’s not because it was forced on anyone. It just happened and that’s great journalism.”
Welteroth is an alumnus of Cal State Sacramento, the same school that Lester Holt dropped out of. When she graduated in 2007 with a major in mass communications and minor in journalism, the first thing she did was intern at Ogilvy & Mather in New York. The internship was made possible by the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (logo pictured, above), an organization that states on its website: “40 years ago, MAIP introduced 10 interns to the world of advertising. These interns initiated MAIP’s legacy of supplying the industry with world-class multicultural talent, influencing all facets of our industry.’ MAIP is part of trade association the American Association of Advertising Agencies (a.k.a. the 4A’s).
Welteroth’s first job following the MAIP internship was as a lifestyle columnist for now-defunct somagirls.tv, in her native San Francisco, where she also worked as a waitress to help support a move to New York in 2008 and internship at Ebony. On the MAIP Facebook page, the organization this week congratulated her on the Teen Vogue promotion and thanked her for ‘showing us how to #MAIPithappen.’
And as this year’s list of MAIP 2017 fellows demonstrates, the program has blossomed to well past its original single city and 10 interns. In fact, this year’s June 2017 New York group includes not one but four people set to plug in to Ogilvy & Mather: Jasmyn Barr, Alicia Harris, Cristen Milliner and Raquel Welsh.
Previously on Fishbowl:
Lester Holt Heads Home to Accept Honorary Degree