The upper echelons of Vogue are shifting once again: Sally Singer, the magazine’s creative digital director, is departing, the Cut has learned. Staffers were informed last week.
In the world of Vogue, Singer was a kind of bohemian counterweight to the ranks of the diaphanously fabulous. Her literary bona fides — she previously, famously, worked at the London Review of Books — didn’t telegraph “Vogue” clearly enough to bear easy caricaturing in The Devil Wears Prada. She preferred cowboy boots, was an early adopter of Batsheva Hay’s frumpy-chic prairie dresses, and lived until recently at the Chelsea Hotel.
And yet Singer was a Vogue stalwart, who joined the magazine in 1999 — after a brief stint at New York Magazine, where she introduced readers to the not-yet-mononymic model Gisele. Except for a two-year tenure editing T: The New York Times Style Magazine from 2010–2012, Singer had worked at Vogue since 1999. (Her T, while it lasted, was grittier, younger, and more literary than Stefano Tonchi’s glossy, megabucks version, which made it a tougher sell to the luxury advertisers who were its lifeblood.)
“Sally and I have been talking about this for some time,” said Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast. “She’s ready for a change, and as sad as I am as a colleague and as a friend to lose her, I am so excited to see what she does next. She is nothing less than a creative force and her contributions to the world of Vogue — print, digital, video and everything else — have been immeasurable.”
Singer declined to comment.
Singer had been the magazine’s fashion features-news director, championing young designers and midwifing careers over several generations of fashion’s high-turnover cycle. When she returned to the magazine, in 2012, it was as creative digital director, and she was given a broad mandate to make the website a must-visit. During her tenure, Vogue absorbed Style.com, the Condé Nast–owned runway website which had, for years, run Vogue’s online content as well as independent content of its own. Vogue made inroads into video, transforming its best-of-the-season picks into surreal short films starring the Hadids or the models of the moment, and shoehorning Celine Dion into couture when the season had barely concluded. The magazine has branched out on new digital platforms; 25.5 million people currently follow it on Instagram.
Though many powerful gatekeepers in fashion have passed through the halls of Vogue or its little sister, Teen Vogue — including Amy Astley, the editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, a Wintour protégée; Samira Nasr, the fashion director of Vanity Fair; Eva Chen, the director of fashion partnerships at Instagram; and Phillip Picardi, until last week the editor-in-chief of Out — the top of the mothership’s masthead had remained remarkably resistant to change until recently. Grace Coddington, one of Wintour’s first hires when she arrived at Vogue in 1988, moved to an at-large position in 2016; Tonne Goodman, its longtime fashion director, and Phyllis Posnick, its former executive fashion editor, who predated even Wintour at Vogue, switched to contributing positions last year.
Meanwhile, a new hire to run the website was announced today following The Cut’s initial report: Stuart Emmrich will be the new editor of Vogue.com, a different position from Singer’s. According to a press release, he will oversee all digital content, and report directly to Wintour. Emmrich, a veteran of the New York Times, ran its Styles section for seven years before decamping for the L.A. Times in 2018. (Disclosure: I worked for the Styles section of the New York Times from 2014–2019.) Emmrich resigned from that paper, and that coast, in September.
This post has been updated.