So What Do You Do, Rina Stone, Creative Director at InStyle?

Rina-StoneAs creative director of InStyle since 2007, Rina Stone has seen her purview expand from the pages of a magazine to an entire brand universe that now encompasses everything from apps to stilettos (created as part of an ongoing collaboration with Nine West). And the hot-off-the-presses September issue is an even bigger deal than usual this year, as its 700+ pages celebrate not only fall fashion but 20 years of InStyle‘s signature inspirational yet attainable approach. As for how she balances multiple projects and tasks, Stone is quick to credit her fellow InStylers. “None of this work would be possible without the huge contribution of the many talented art directors, designers and photo editors on my team,” says Stone. “They can switch gears in an instant from a magazine feature to a digital mini book to — believe it or not — a behind-the-scenes video. They rock!” Fashionably speaking, agility is the new black.

Position: Creative director, InStyle
Resume: Before joining InStyle as creative director in 2007, Stone was the first creative director of People. She previously served as Talk‘s design director and worked on the prototype for Radar. Her prior experience includes design and art director positions at Us Weekly and its monthly incarnation, Us magazine. She also redesigned and launched Sports Illustrated for Women, and contributed to redesigns of GQ and Entertainment Weekly.
Birthday: October 6
Hometown: Valley Stream, New York
Education: BS in journalism from Boston University
Marital status: Married with two children, 4-year-old Linus and 6-year-old Hazel
Media mentor: Martha Nelson, former editor-in-chief of Time, Inc.
Best career advice received: “Don’t ever do anything just for the money. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you will be miserable and you probably will not be very good at it.” And, secondly: “Being strategic and having all of your facts is important when making decisions, but there will come times when you need to make a decision based on gut instinct alone.”
Last book read: The Fever by Megan Abbott
Guilty pleasure: This week it’s Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” I can’t get it out of my head — and my kids love the video.
On Twitter: @rinajoystone
On Instagram: @rinajstone

What are your responsibilities as creative director of InStyle?
Creative director means lots of different things in different places. At InStyle my role is focused on keeping the brand in line — visually, photographically, typographically — across all of our categories. So that would be within the home sector, beauty, fashion — and I work very closely with each group. The art department and the photo department report into me, and the digital/tablet department reports into me, but I also have a very close relationship working with all of the directors — the style director, fashion director, beauty director and home director — I collaborate with them on shoots, on concepts for stories, on how to tell a story. I then am part of all of the run-throughs, so if merchandise is not really telling the story that we want to get across or if it’s not becoming a cohesive collection of pieces that will present themselves well on the page, I give them feedback there.

How has your role — and InStyle itself — changed since you arrived in 2007?
I’ve watched the industry and my role at InStyle change so much just in the last few years. I used to say, ‘I’m the creative director of InStyle magazine.’ Well, InStyle is so much more now than it was then. It’s more about the brand. Obviously the magazine is the touchstone of the brand, and we put so much time and effort into it, but we do many other things now.