After helming Elle for close to two decades, Robbie Myers is stepping down from her role as editor in chief.
Myers came to Elle after running the now-defunct Mirabella, a woman’s magazine that pioneered the unique brand of culture, fashion and “women’s issues,” written expressly for an audience of women who are markedly older than the most-desired demographic. “It was a magazine that never lost a reader, [although] there was enormous pressure to go younger,” Myers told the Business of Fashion in 2015. “The women who read it were emotionally attached to it...we assumed a certain amount of cultural literacy and erudition. We handled complex issues in a elevated way.” Before helming Mirabella, she had worked at Rolling Stone, Interview and Seventeen.
Myers’s sensibility is now a distinct part of Elle’s DNA; the magazine sets itself apart from its most obvious competitor, Vogue, by keeping a thread of genuine enthusiasm for their subjects that run through every aspect, from the web site to the print magazine itself, though Myer’s time at the helm has not been without low-level controversy. In 2009, Elle’s offices were featured prominently in the MTV reality show The City, which featured a young Whitney Port. Nina Garcia and Joe Zee, both of Elle’s fashion department, appeared as judges on Project Runway. And, if you’re to believe this 2009 Forbes piece, the fictional magazine featured in the television show Ugly Betty was modeled after Elle. Myers’s willingness to embrace reality television or to welcome the cameras is not the kind of thing Anna Wintour would ever do, but it is what makes Elle that much more accessible to its readers.
In a bittersweet memo to her staff, obtained by The Cut, Myers expressed her gratitude for the pat 17 years she’s spent running Elle, saying “I want to spend the next seasons as available to my children as I can be, and so I take my leave of ELLE now: a magazine, a website, a brand, and above all an idea of how a modern woman might move through the world with all of the passion and authority she deserves; an idea all of you have helped build into a powerhouse over these last 17 years.”