There's no adequately poetic way to put this, so I'll just jump right in: Jennifer Gerson is leaving us at the end of this week. Jennifer, as some of our old-timers know, has been with the site since virtually the very beginning: In early February 2007, she answered an "ad" I put up on our brother site, Gawker, looking for writers for the as-yet-untitled site I was working on, then known simply as 'Girly Gawker'. At the time she wrote me, she was toiling away as an assistant to Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, and although I was intrigued by her pedigree — Elle, Sephora, NBC, the office of Senator Hillary Clinton — it was the intelligent, thoughtful yet energetic tone of her email that had me, if not at 'hello', at this: "I believed whole-heartedly then, and still, in a more idealistic place, believe now, that women's magazines just might be the site of large-scale revolution, if the people who make them ever choose them to be. Why couldn't stories on, say, universal health care run alongside a fashion news piece explaining the most recent grunge revival? As I said in my interview [with Elle], 'I have been reading Maureen Dowd religiously since the 6th grade and I really, really love my shoes.'"
Jennifer and her MoDo iChat avatar are abandoning us for the preppier, more well-financed clutches of Ralph Lauren, where she will be their new Women's Editor — designing, creating and conceptualizing original content for the women's holdings under the RalphLauren.com umbrella. (She will also, hopefully, be sending us free pairs of Madras shorts and brushed-cotton tees that we can wear on our nonexistent yachts during our nonexistent summer vacations with our nonexistent, tow-headed Aryan children.) But she will continue to be found on Jezebel occasionally — she still owes me that May Past Fashion on bridesmaid and flower-girl dresses! — and we will be running small tribute posts to her throughout the week. What I'll say now is that we simply could not have launched this blog without her, and her endless amounts of energy, devotion, and creativity are both enviable and inspiring. We're damn proud of you, Jennifer. I only hope that we've been as good to you as you have been to us.
Earlier: Meet The Editors