Samira Nasr has made history with her appointment as Fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief. She is the first black woman to handle that position in its 153-year-history. Publisher Hearst announced Tuesday that she will head the title’s US edition from next month.
In a statement announcing the decision, Hearst president Troy Young said Nasr’s voice will “continue to evolve the brand’s distinct position as a style touchstone for fashion’s most discerning.”
Nasr, who was recently the executive fashion director at Vanity Fair, replaces the magazine’s longstanding editor Glenda Bailey, who announced in January that she was stepping down after almost 19 years at the helm.
The Montreal-born history maker said in a social media video that she feels “honoured” for the new role “at this particular moment in our nation’s history.”
“My lens by nature is colourful, and so it is important to me to begin a new chapter in Bazaar’s history by shining a light on all individuals who I believe are the inspiring voices of our time.”
Nasr had previously held a director role at fashion magazine InStyle and she was an assistant to Vogue’s former creative director Grace Coddington. She also served as fashion director at another of the company’s titles, Elle.
Highlighting her vision for Harper’s Bazaar, Nasr said that she hoped to reimagine what a fashion magazine can be in today’s world. “I will work to give all voices a platform to tell stories that would never have been told,” she said.
“I believe that Harper’s Bazaar can deliver the best in fashion, all while being a place where the community can come together to celebrate art, music, pop culture and also learn about the important issues that we as women are facing today,” she said, adding, “such as the fight for human rights, our reproductive rights and the hurdles that we face as we fight for equity in the workplace.”
Nasr’s appointment has received a warm welcome by prominent figures from the media and fashion industries including her current boss, Vanity Fair’s editor-in-chief Radhika Jones, who wished her well in the new role.
“She’s an avatar of chic, always ahead of the curve,” Jones wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m so happy for her and her new team. And I’m so glad at this moment in history to see this role go to a woman of color.”
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Three cheers for my friend and colleague @samiranasr, the new editor in chief of @harpersbazaarus! In her two years as @vanityfair’s executive fashion director, Samira has helped us redefine modern glamour through the VF lens. She’s an avatar of chic, always ahead of the curve. I’m so happy for her and her new team. And I’m so glad at this moment in history to see this role go to a woman of color. We are a small club, but growing. Samira, thank you for being an excellent editor, advisor, travel companion, and champion of our vision for Vanity Fair. And thank you for teaching me to tuck my shirt in. I feel so lucky to have worked with you. We will miss you terribly, but we’re so excited to watch you soar—and change the world while you’re at it. ❤️🙌🏼❤️
Actress, singer and red-carpet fixture, Janelle Monae, tweeted: “My gurl! but damn 153 years though?”
Fashion designer Prabal Gurung also wrote: “The kind of good news we all need to hear. Congratulations Samira Nasr @harpersbazaarus you did good!!!”
To all the protesters, community organizers, activists and those currently fighting to be saved, to be seen and heard through our own narratives, She said: “I see you, I thank you and I hope we can join forces to amplify the message of equality because Black Lives Matter“.