Earlier this week, Brides announced that former executive editor Keija Minor had been promoted to Editor in Chief, making her the first ever black EIC in Condé Nast’s history.
Despite being only six days into her new, headline-making position and probably very busy, Minor was nice enough to chat with us about her exciting new role, the reactions she’s gotten, her thoughts on diversity in publishing as a whole and her plans for Brides. Read on for our interview.
Fashionista: Do you have any specific goals or plans in mind for the magazine now that you’re editor in chief?
Keija Minor: I am now six days on this job, so keep that in mind. What I want to do is continue to build on the content that we have and the mission that we’ve always had which is to provide inspiration and great ideas for our readers. My focus is on giving the readers an abundance of ideas they can make their own for their wedding. It’s not about dictating a certain style for them; [but saying] here are some really great ideas we love for how to make [your wedding] your own. Ideas that [readers] can actually rip from the pages, or look at online and actually take action themselves.
Any new components?
The magazine will always be a cornerstone of the brand, but we’ve got a ton going on online. We are continuing to grow the site, so a lot of my focus is definitely on the website. I think the difference between six days ago and now is I’m thinking about long term strategy as a whole.
How do you make bridal new and exciting each season?
Our brides have changed so much over time that [making it new and exciting] is actually easier to do than you would think. Less than a generation ago, weddings were so much about the parents. [Back then] more parents paid for the wedding so they dictated the style [but] what we’re seeing now is a lot more couples getting married when they’re older or are paying for more of their own weddings, so they’re having their wedding their way. So there’s a real interest in personalizing and making their wedding unique. Because of that, there are no rules [which] helps to keep it fresh.
Obviously, becoming the editor in chief of anything is quite an accomplishment. How did you get there? What was your first job?
I actually practiced corporate law for four years and worked with wonderful people, but was not passionate about the work. But one thing I was excited about was publishing and [in particular] lifestyle magazines and magazines that were related to style, so I took an 85% pay cut and started off in a very junior position at a magazine called Travel Savvy 10 years ago and worked my way up to editor in chief and then this opportunity came up to join Niche Media as managing editor of L.A. Confidential and Aspen Peak and then was promoted to editor in chief of Gotham.
Obviously your new position has become big news because you’re the first ever black editor in chief at Condé. Is that something you were aware of going in? What has the response been?
I didn’t know that I was going to get such an outpouring of support [because of it], both inside the building and from the community at large and particularly from fellow journalists–whether they started in media around the same time I did or our paths have crossed or just other journalists who followed the industry.
Do you think there needs to be more diversity in publishing in general?
There’s been a lot of talk about this especially in the fashion industry. More in fashion, but I think the conversation expanded to media at large and I think a diverse staff benefits any publication just to get different points of view. I think it’s about excellence and having a great team. I’m lucky, I have a fantastic team at a company that attracts a lot of top-notch people. I think that we are seeing a lot more diversity in the ranks at these magazines, which is a good thing.