Condé Nast to Launch New LGBTQ-Focused Media Platform, 'Them'

According to creator Phillip Picardi, it's the company's first launch of a new independent brand in a decade.
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According to creator Phillip Picardi, it's the company's first launch of a new independent brand in a decade.
"Them" creator Phillip Picardi accepts an award at the The 21st Annual Webby Awards. Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images 

"Them" creator Phillip Picardi accepts an award at the The 21st Annual Webby Awards. Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images 

There's yet to be a dull moment at Condé Nast of late: In the last month, Vanity FairGlamour and Brides Editors-in-Chief Graydon Carter, Cindi Leive and Keija Minor, respectively, announced their departures within a week. But through all the media giant's recent structural changes — most prevalently, overhauling its business side to streamline and share resources across five teams — Condé Nast has continued to develop editorial properties, including the launch of a quarterly Goop-branded magazine in partnership with the Gwyneth Paltrow-operated lifestyle brand. 

On Wednesday, Condé Nast revealed its latest project: Them, an LGBTQ-focused media brand created by former Teen Vogue and Allure Digital Editorial Director Phillip Picardi. (In addition to his roles at Teen Vogue and Allure, Picardi now holds the title of chief content officer at Them.) According to Business of Fashion, this mission-driven, multi-platform venture is the first new independent title that Condé Nast has launched in a decade, since the short-lived Portfolio in 2007. Them is set to debut online on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Picardi, whom BoF reports first pitched the idea to Condé Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour earlier this summer, will be joined by Pamela Drucker Mann, Condé Nast's chief marketing officer and, as of last week, chief revenue officer, alongside Chief Digital Officer Fred Santarpia and General Manager of Digital Matt Starker. Them's founding editors will include Meredith Talusan, winner of the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism, and Tyler Ford, who, in 2016, was named to Dazed's 100 visionary talents shaping youth culture, as well as Michael Cuby and Alexis Fish, as Picardi wrote in an Instagram caption. Additionally, launch partners for the project include Burberry, Google, Lyft and GLAAD.

"There is a cultural revolution happening that is — as always — spearheaded by young people who believe in fighting for equality, and we want to create a space that’s reflective of this moment," said Picardi in a statement. "We're excited to showcase the voices and perspectives of people in the community, and prove through our storytelling that, by celebrating them, we're really celebrating all of us."

Them was born out of Condé Nast's new incubator, which, according to a press release, was created "to develop new brands and businesses for the company's consumer audience and advertising partners alike."

Ahead of Them's official launch later this month, you can head to Them.us to sign up for notifications, as well as follow the platform on Facebook and Instagram

Note: This story has been updated to include the official launch date, information about founding staff members, background on the Condé Nast incubator and a statement from Picardi.

Homepage photo: Them/Facebook

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