Elaine Welteroth. Teen Vogue Magazine. Photo by Kris Connor.
What does she do? In 2017, Welteroth was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue magazine. This promotion makes her the second African-American editor-in-chief in Condé Nast’s 107-year-long history. Additionally, she is the youngest Condé Nast editor in history, receiving her promotion at age 29. Before serving as editor-in-chief, Welteroth was Teen Vogue’s first African-American beauty director. She is credited for the notable increase in the publication’s coverage of politics and social justice.
Who is she? Born in Santa Clara, California, Elaine Welteroth grew up in and around the Fremont area. She graduated from California State University – Sacramento with a major in Mass Communication/Media Studies and a minor in journalism. After college, Welteroth worked as an internship at the advertising, marketing, and public relations firm, Oglivy & Mather, then utilizing that experience to launch into a content producer for SomaGirls.TV. Her first experience in the magazine industry came via an unpaid internship at Ebony magazine. From there, she became the magazine’s Beauty & Style Editor.
Welteroth joined the Condé Nast family in 2011 as Glamour magazine’s Beauty & Style Editor, then as Senior Beauty Editor. She used this position to access Teen Vogue, joining the publication’s team in October of 2012. Four years later, she was named editor-in-chief. Since this promotion, the magazine’s focus has expanded to include politics and social justice, including critical coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The magazine’s direction now emphasizes digital publication and a wide social media presence, expanding content accessibility.
Why Watch? Welteroth is a prolific writer and powerful public figure. Since transforming Teen Vogue into a legitimate source of journalism, she has been featured as a “Woman to Watch” with several publications. In the coming months, she will leave Teen Vogue to be represented by CAA, working to expand her opportunities in film, television, digital, and branding endorsements. A talented public speaker and opinionated and informed individual, we would not be surprised to see Welteroth pursue a career in politics.