When Condé Nast announced last August that Lucky magazine would be spun off as a separate company with e-commerce startup Beachmint, many believed Lucky's days in print — and Editor in Chief Eva Chen's days with the brand — were numbered.
That day has already come. Chen confirmed on Twitter Thursday that she is leaving the Lucky Group sometime in the next few months to "spend some time with [her] family," noting that it was an "intensely personal/difficult decision."
News of Chen's impending departure was first reported by WWD. Citing unnamed sources, the trade also said that Lucky is planning to shut down its print operations and go all-digital, and that several investment groups in Silicon Valley have expressed interest in acquiring the Lucky Group's remaining assets. Gillian Gorman Round, president of the Lucky Group, is also expected to depart, WWD reported.
A spokesperson for the Lucky Group told Fashionista that there was no further news to share at this time.
The news follows Condé Nast's announcement that the jewel of its digital portfolio, Style.com, is being relaunched as an e-commerce site this fall. (The existing site will continue in a reduced capacity at voguerunway.com, and several prominent members of its staff have already been laid off.)
Lucky launched its content-meets-commerce venture, Lucky Shops, in February. It's largely an editorial site with an e-commerce component, running lifestyle and shopping-focused stories like "19 Surprisingly Sophisticated Rompers" in one section, and selling goods from contemporary brands like Opening Ceremony and Tibi in another. (Many items listed on the site come from Lucky's own inventory, supplemented by "shop-in-shops" and affiliate links to other e-commerce sites.) Since launch, Chen has remarked repeatedly that the site has beat its sales forecasts.
Even if the site was surpassing projections, it was clear from the dwindling number of ad pages that Lucky the magazine was not. In recent months, many prominent members of Lucky's staff have been let go or transferred elsewhere at Condé Nast. Given Chen's star power and her close relationship with Anna Wintour, however, we imagine Condé Nast will make every effort to keep her at the company.
This story was updated with Eva Chen's confirmation of her departure and a statement from a Lucky Group spokesperson.