Exclusive! Laura Brown on Her Move to InStyle

by Kristen Heinzinger

Today, Time Inc. announced Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown will become the new EIC at InStyle, replacing Ariel Foxman. With a start date just around the corner (next week!), Brown is still soaking it all in (“I’m just sitting in my chair not really moving,” she told us over the phone from her home). She gives us the scoop on her big move!

Were you expecting the announcement to be made today?
All I will say is I’m so pleased to be able to share the news, and I’m thrilled that we can tell the world. I’m a bit dazed, but so excited to get started! I just tweeted and I said I told my mom all those fashion magazines were useful for something. When I was a teenager I had a lot of them.

How did the Bazaar team react?
Brilliant. Glenda [Bailey] was so brilliant. She and I have worked together for 11 years. She just said she’s proud and that I’m so ready. She’s had, I think, 14 editor-in-chiefs that have come from her staff. I was on vacation, and I had to call Glenda on her vacation. We haven’t been able to see much of each other in person, but everybody’s been amazing. I love the Bazaar team. They’re my family and I’m going to miss them so much, but we’re going to go drinking on Thursday.

Why was now the right time to make the move?
These opportunities come up so rarely, if you’re so lucky to be offered one. I think that InStyle represents the fusion of fashion and celebrity and popular culture and celebrity, and that’s two things that I’ve really worked on wielding together anyway. Temperamentally and creatively, it’s a really good fit for me. They’re a huge brand with such a huge posture in the market. It’s not just a magazine, it’s a website, the InStyle Awards, everything that the brand has going on…it’s big! When I started reading InStyle when I was younger, in Australia, I thought it was this sort of spaceship of Hollywood and fashion. Everything was so glamorous and so amazing. I’ve always had that memory of it being emblematic, something so grand and incredible and so shiny. To be in a position where I can contribute to it is a real honor.

Do you know Ariel Foxman personally?
I do! He’s a great friend of mine. He’s been floating around Lake Como, so he’s been fine. He may just be getting back from vacation, so we’ll surely speak. He and I have been friends for a good amount of time. No changes there at all. He’s a wonderful person and with a very loyal team that he left, and everybody loved him there and continues to. I couldn’t think of a better person to kind of follow. I hope I do a good job. [Laughs]

What’s your relationship with Jess Cagle like [editorial director for the celebrity, entertainment, and style group at InStyle]?
Jess and I have friends in common but we never really met. He’s fantastic and he’s such a live wire. He has such great energy, he’s so effusive, and I think he’s a brilliant communicator. How he manages to run all those big brands, I have no idea, because they’re all massive. I don’t think I could ask for anybody better to start out with.

How will you spend your last day?
I will go and drink some rosé, at some point, even though I barely touch the stuff, she says ironically. I have tons of texts and emails to [catch up] on. We’re making sure we plan something with the staff later this week, and then I’m going to come in and meet people at InStyle. I’m just trying to get my ducks in a row. There’s a lot going on, but I’m really, really excited. I’m honored that this brand has given me this. THANK YOU SO MUCH in caps lock.

Can you give us a teaser of what you’ll do first at InStyle?
I don’t even know how to get in the door, physically! Get a security card, and make sure my headshot is cute. [Laughs]

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