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Deborah Needleman Ushers in T's Next Phase With Several New Hires

The editor in chief told staff the magazine is moving "out of start-up mode."
The 'T' Summer Beauty issue comes out on Sunday.  Photo: T

The 'T' Summer Beauty issue comes out on Sunday.  Photo: T

Deborah Needleman's revamp of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, where she took the helm in 2012, is not over yet. In a memo sent to the staff on Friday, Needleman announced a new slate of hires and structural changes taking place in June that will push the magazine "out of start-up mode" and into a new phase, in addition to strengthening its digital presence. 

Isabel Wilkinson, formerly senior editor at The Cut, will be the magazine's senior online editor overseeing online features and fashion coverage as well as working with Needleman and online managing editor Alainna Lexie Beddie on "honing the editorial focus of the website" and "facilitat[ing] more reciprocity between our print and digital enterprises," wrote Needleman in her memo. The site,, will relaunch in August, just in time for fashion month.

On the print side, novelist and former editor-at-large of Conde Nast Traveler Hanya Yanagihara has joined T as deputy editor. Yanagihara is replacing Whitney Vargas, who has been promoted to executive editor and will now have "day-to-day creative oversight of the magazine." Emily Stokes has also been promoted to articles editor from senior features editor. And finally, Hannah Goldfield has been hired as staff editor from The New Yorker.

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Since Needleman took over T, she's made a lot of hires — many from her former home WSJ Magazine, such as men’s style director David Farber and photo director Nadia Vellam — and lost some key people to other publications — such as Kate Lanphear, who was the women's style director, and Jesse Ashlock, who was online director. One of her earliest additions in 2012 was legendary stylist Joe McKenna. As fashion director, McKenna has defined the signature T aesthetic and collaborated with photographers Juergen Teller, Inez and Vinoodh, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti and many more, including up and coming names Karim Sadli and Jamie Hawkesworth.