If you don’t know who Lindsey Peoples Wagner is, drop everything you’re doing and Google her right now. She’s basically changing the fashion industry for the better, so everyone should know her name.
She’s currently the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Teen Vogue, and just announced her new position as the Editor-in-Chief of The Cut earlier this month. Her career trajectory proves that hard work pays off. Starting off as an intern in the Teen Vogue fashion closet, she rose the ranks and in seven years became the magazine’s third Black Editor-in-Chief. And she actually left a few years in between to work as fashion editor at The Cut. One of her biggest contributions as EIC of Teen Vogue was to publish more stories on politics and diversity and inclusion. These aren’t typical topics that teenagers are exposed to but should considering they can vote at 18, and I believe it’s important for teenagers to learn about diversity from a young age.
It all started with her love of fashion, as it does for us all. She grew up in Wisconsin, which isn’t going to be named a fashion capital any time soon, but she was heavily influenced and encouraged by her grandmother. Looking at her now, you wouldn’t think that Peoples Wagner started as an intern. In fact, in multiple interviews, she brings up how difficult it was in the beginning having to work three jobs to be able to make ends meet. But she persisted and her hard work paid off. She has worked at some of the top names in the industry — Teen Vogue, The Cut and Style.com to name a few — and has made a real difference for her community.
But her magazine work was just the beginning. Peoples Wagner’s real passion is better representation and having difficult conversations about race and politics. That was always at the forefront of her dreams. And her dream came true when she decided to start the Black in Fashion Council. Partnering with Sandrine Charles, who owns her own PR firm, Peoples Wagner set to turn the fashion world on its head.
And that’s exactly what she did. The Black in Fashion Council is a membership program to help Black professionals who want to work in fashion. Everything from aspiring to designers to aspiring fashion editors, the BIFC wants to help them achieve their dreams. In order to do so, they have partnered with over 75 brands (and growing) to make a difference in the lives of Black professionals but also in the fashion industry. Fashion has long been notorious for being very exclusive, so Peoples Wagner and Charles are making sure that representation, diversity and inclusivity are kept top of mind.
This may be no small feat, but a very important one and coming at such an important time. Just recently, for New York Fashion Week, the BIFC showcased 16 Black fashion designers. They featured them on NYFW’s “The Talks,” where they get interviewed about their designs and businesses by a prominent name in the industry. In addition to that, they partnered with Depop, the popular app to buy and sell secondhand clothing and accessories, for Black History Month to showcase Black designers on the platform.
These are the types of moves we need to see and support in order to celebrate and empower diverse voices in the fashion industry. This is the future of fashion, and People’s Wagner is leading the fight.
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