The former digital head of Teen Vogue, Phillip Picardi will lead the new Condé Nast publication and multi media brand, Them, set to debut late October of this year. According to Business of Fashion, who broke the news, this will be Condé Nast first independent brand launched since Portfolio magazine in 2007, and will be a mission-driven, multi-platform imprint.
Picardi says that LGBT content is some of the best-performing at Teen Vogue. “If I’ve learned anything from my time at Teen Vogue, it’s that young people are dominating our culture and they’re going to shape it in a way that we really weren’t expecting, particularly in matters of gender and sexuality,” Picardi told Business of Fashion. “Wouldn’t it be incredible if Condé Nast were the first publisher to really step up to the plate and want to be the ones who were telling those stories in an authentic and personal way?”
Them as a publication will develop a community and its content strategy will focus on quality rather than quantity. “With everyone publishing the same news round-up at 8am, sending the same similar newsletters…it gets exhausting and I think consumers are just trying to be more selective,” Phillip tells Business of Fashion. “We’re not expecting hundreds of millions of impressions to deliver on a campaign. But what we are hoping for is a uniquely engaged and extremely impactful storytelling experience.” The publication will report on news and politics within the LGBTQ community and fashion and beauty coverage will be genderless.
His career Phillip’s history at Teen Vogue, after a stint at Allure is what really put Picardi on the map. He was part of the team that increased traffic from 1.4 million to over nine million monthly in his first two years, as well as delving into deeper topics not usually covered by the lifestyle fashion focused publication.
Phillip has worked on the launch of Them with Anna Wintour and newly appointed chief revenue officer Pamela Drucker Mann, alongside chief digital officer Fred Santapria and general manager of digital Matt Starker. BoF also reports that Pamela has been selective in partnering brands with Them saying, “I’ve actually been in meetings where I said to clients, ‘If this is a diversity project for you, don’t do it’.” Burberry are one of its launching partners with chief creative officer Christopher Bailey telling BoF: “I am delighted that we are partnering with Them for the launch of an important new digital publication that will champion authenticity, intellect, style and culture for those who are shaping the future of our world.” Other “visionaries” include the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Google, and Lyft, Phillip says on a Instagram announcement.
Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s artistic director and American Vogue‘s Editor-In-Chief, championed Them‘s editorial direction. “Over the past year, we’ve been reimagining what a title looks like to better reflect today’s culture and how audiences are interacting with content,” Wintour said. “It’s not that [a LGBTQ-focused publication] is something that we’ve invented or anything new,” she says. “It’s where we should be. And that, to me, is super important in just the way that the media world understands it… We want to be a part of pushing [culture] forward.”