‘Them,’ Condé Nast’s New LGBTQ Publication, Shines A Light On Gender And Sexuality For Gen Z

‘Them,’ Condé Nast’s New LGBTQ Publication, Shines A Light On Gender And Sexuality For Gen Z
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Them will be spearheaded by Teen Vogue's Phillip Picardi with a focus on politics, fashion and real-life stories

Matt Vitone
  • 5 october 2017

Perhaps no one in magazine publishing today is as effective as Phillip Picardi, who in little more than two years has transformed Teen Vogue into one of the most talked-about publications on the market (at times even more than its mother publication Vogue). Now Picardi is hoping to channel some of that same youth-focused, socially conscious energy into Them, a new multi-platform LGBTQ brand being launched by Condé Nast at the end of October.

According to Picardi, who will serve as the publication’s chief content officer in addition to his continuing roles at Teen Vogue and Allure, Them will seek to appeal to a wide spectrum of non-binary gender and sexual identities, as well as to LGBTQ allies. Picardi, who was recently named one of the “50 Most Influential LGBTs in Media” by The Advocate, says he sees Them as a way of shifting LGBTQ issues from the fringe of the cultural conversation to the center, speaking to the growing number of youth who identify as LGBTQ. According to one study cited by Picardi, 52% of Generation Z does not identify as heterosexual.

“If I’ve learned anything from my time at Teen Vogue, it’s that young people are dominating our culture and they’re going to shape it in a way that we really weren’t expecting, particularly in matters of gender and sexuality,” said Picardi in an interview with Business of Fashion. “Wouldn’t it be incredible if Condé Nast were the first publisher to really step up to the plate and want to be the ones who were telling those stories in an authentic and personal way?”

Politics will be central to the content featured on the site, taking an activist stance towards important issues affecting the LGBTQ community, while also featuring LGBTQ individuals who are underrepresented in traditional media publications. Fashion and beauty coverage will also be non-gendered. “If we’re covering floral dresses [in an] editorial, you better believe you’ll be seeing men and women and gender non-conforming folks in those dresses,” said Picardi.

SOME PERSONAL NEWS?! I tell this story kind of a lot, but I was an itty-bitty gayby in an Abercrombie muscle tee, sitting up in my room and reading VOGUE, when I first felt recognized by a magazine. There, Anna Wintour had stressed the importance of marriage equality as a civil right, and called for the fashion industry to stand with her. Around 12 years later, I am so proud to announce that I've been working with Anna — and an incredible team at Condé Nast led by @fsantarpia, Pam Drucker Mann, and more — on the launch of @THEM: the company's first-ever LGBT media brand, and first launch of an independent brand in a decade. (For more information, you can hit the link in my bio!) Please join me in welcoming @1demerith, @tywrent, @michaelcuby, and Alexis Fish to the family as the founding team of THEM, and a special shout to @jtrab and @brunch_money for getting this thing off the ground. NOW, go follow us on all the socials, and subscribe to our newsletter at them.us. We'll be back later this month with our official debut, powered in part by the visionaries at @glaad, @google, @burberry, and @lyft. ❤️💛💜💚💙 🙋🏻‍♂️One last thing: You know how this works already! My email is in my bio if you have any pitches, ideas, or opportunities for us.

A post shared by Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) on

Them will run at a slightly slower pace than Teen Vogue, with a focus on longer, unique storytelling experiences as opposed to breaking news articles. Weekly video features will serve as key anchor content, tying in multimedia components including podcasts, infographics and images. Most importantly, the publication will actively collaborate with the community it is targeting, with a large focus on reader submissions. Them will also place a strong emphasis on physical experiences, from merchandise made in collaboration with queer designers, to events such as book clubs, charity initiatives and appearances at Pride parades.

Them

Perhaps no one in magazine publishing today is as effective as Phillip Picardi, who in little more than two years has transformed Teen Vogue into one of the most talked-about publications on the market (at times even more than its mother publication Vogue). Now Picardi is hoping to channel some of that same youth-focused, socially conscious energy into Them, a new multi-platform LGBTQ brand being launched by Condé Nast at the end of October.

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+apparel
+Arts & Culture
+arts & culture
+children
+Conde Nast
+Fashion
+gen Z
+LGBT
+LGBTQ
+Media & Publishing
+Media & Publishing
+technology

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