As Teen Vogue celebrates its 20th anniversary, it’s clear that the magazine has come a long way since its inception. From its early days as a print publication focused on fashion and beauty, to its current form as a digital-first brand covering a wide range of topics including politics, social justice, and culture, Teen Vogue has consistently been a leader in the industry.
One person who has played a significant role in Teen Vogue’s evolution is Elaine Welteroth. Welteroth joined Teen Vogue as Beauty Director in 2012, before becoming Editor-in-Chief in 2016. During her tenure, Welteroth oversaw a period of rapid growth and expansion for the brand, as well as a shift towards more politically-focused content.
Welteroth’s impact on Teen Vogue cannot be overstated. She brought a unique perspective to the brand, one that combined her background in journalism with her passion for fashion and beauty. Under her leadership, Teen Vogue became known for its thoughtful, in-depth coverage of social and political issues affecting young people, as well as its commitment to showcasing diverse voices and perspectives.
One example of Welteroth’s influence can be seen in the “Rise Up” issue, which was released in 2018. The issue featured a cover story on gun control activist Emma Gonzalez, as well as articles on mental health, body positivity, and civic engagement. It was a bold move for a fashion magazine, but it paid off – the issue became one of Teen Vogue’s most popular ever, and cemented the brand’s reputation as a platform for young people to discuss and engage with important social issues.
Another notable aspect of Welteroth’s tenure at Teen Vogue was her focus on diversity and inclusion. She made a concerted effort to feature models and celebrities of color on the magazine’s covers, as well as to highlight the work of emerging designers and artists from underrepresented communities. This approach helped to expand Teen Vogue’s audience and create a sense of belonging for young people who may have previously felt marginalized by mainstream media.
Of course, no discussion of Teen Vogue’s success would be complete without mentioning Versha Sharma. Sharma joined the brand as Senior Editor in 2017, before becoming Digital Director in 2019. In this role, she oversaw the development of Teen Vogue’s digital strategy, including its social media presence and website content.
Sharma’s contributions to Teen Vogue have been instrumental in helping the brand reach a wider audience and stay relevant in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. Her efforts have included creating viral social media campaigns, developing interactive features and quizzes, and curating content that speaks directly to the concerns and interests of young people.
Together, Welteroth and Sharma have formed a powerful team that has helped to establish Teen Vogue as a leading voice in the fashion industry. Their dedication to quality journalism, diversity and inclusion, and innovative storytelling has set a high bar for other brands to follow.
Both Welteroth and Sharma agree that one of the biggest challenges facing teens today is social media. “It can be both a blessing and a curse,” Welteroth noted. “On one hand, it allows young people to connect and mobilize like never before. On the other hand, it can create unrealistic expectations and foster a culture of comparison.”
Sharma added, “We try to use our platforms to promote positivity and authenticity. We want our readers to feel empowered, not defeated, when they engage with us online.”
As Teen Vogue enters its third decade, Welteroth and Sharma are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. They see the magazine as a tool for inspiring young people to become active participants in shaping their own futures.
“The next generation is going to change the world,” Welteroth declared. “And we plan to be right there alongside them, providing the resources and support they need to make it happen.”
Sharma concurred, saying, “Our goal is to continue pushing the envelope, covering topics that matter and giving our audience the tools they need to succeed. Whether it’s through journalism, activism, or creative expression, we believe that Teen Vogue can be a catalyst for real change.”
Looking ahead, it will be exciting to see how Teen Vogue continues to evolve and adapt to the changing needs and interests of its audience. With Welteroth and Sharma at the helm, there’s no doubt that the brand will remain a force for good in the world of fashion and beyond. Happy 20th anniversary, Teen Vogue – here’s to many more years of excellence!