Media guru and editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, Vanessa De Luca is a force to be reckoned with. A graduate of English and American Literature from Harvard University with a Master of Science degree in Magazine Concentration from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Vanessa currently oversees content and vision for both the core magazine and Essence.com, the daily online destination for African-American women. Her influence, which made her worthy of this 2016 FACE List media award, extends across Essence’s various brand extensions, including top-tier events such as the Essence Festival, Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, and Black Women in Music.
De Luca first joined Essence more than a decade ago as Beauty and Fashion Features Editor, managing all style and beauty sections. In 2003, she was named Lifestyle Director, responsible for multiple sections including food, home, parenting, and technology. Additionally, she was a member of the editorial features team, writing and editing numerous impactful stories on subjects ranging from teen dating violence to childhood obesity. In 2005, she was named Executive Editor, managing the editorial team to implement the brand’s creative vision, as well as overseeing staffing, systems, operations, and the magazine’s operating budget. Prior to joining Essence, she served in a variety of editorial capacities at publications such as Life and Glamour.
On her selection as this year’s FACE List honoree in the media category, De Luca says:
It is my profound joy to be recognized by this extraordinary organization, which shines a light on our achievements across the diaspora. To be honored in a year when Essence will expand its Festival for the first time ever to Durban, South Africa, makes it especially gratifying.
De Luca is an award-winning industry veteran and coauthor of the best-selling beauty and empowerment book,”Tyra’s Beauty Inside & Out.” She has appeared as a featured guest on several national television shows and networks, including NBC’s Today Show; MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Melissa Harris Perry; CNN; HLN; HuffPost Live, and more.
She sits on the boards of ColorComm, a networking organisation for women of color in communications, and the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. Her recent honors include Advertising Age’s A-List for 2015, being featured on Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter list, recognition among Folio’s Top Women in Media of 2015, a distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, a “W” award from the YWCA of the City of New York for Visionary Leadership, and an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Award nomination for General Excellence in the Service and Lifestyle category.
De Luca resides with her family in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
De Luca will be honored at the 2016 FACE List Awards Gala on Saturday, July 9, at ESPACE Ballroom in New York. Click Here for Tickets.