The job title editor-in-chief is no longer confined to newsrooms.
Fashion brands are increasingly building content for their own websites and social media channels, and they’re scooping up fashion journalists to lead their editorial teams. These in-house editorial leaders are becoming increasingly important, as retailers are using the content they produce—which includes online articles, video, social media stories and email newsletters—to build communities of more than just shoppers.
Glossy tapped four traditional journalists-turned-brand editors to get the scoop on where they’ve worked, what their current roles consist of and whether it was hard for them to make the leap from publishing.
Tory Hoen, editor-in-chief, MM.LaFleur
As editor-in-chief of MM.LaFleur, Tory Hoen heads up the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash, and oversees five staff members across departments, including editorial, social media and PR. She joined the women’s corporate-wear brand as a consultant to help build its brand voice before joining full-time as its sixth employee to build its editorial strategy. Formerly, over a seven-year period, Hoen was a journalist at Time Out New York and New York Magazine, and a freelancer for publications including Condé Nast Traveler and Fortune.
“I took a lot of lessons from what I learned in journalism and what I learned at magazines about content that performs well,” said Hoen. The M Dash features a series, “Women of the Week,” that features interviews and profiles of career-focused women — titles include “I started a new job 3 months pregnant,” (as told by an MM.Lafleur employee) and “How to quit your job gracefully.” “It isn’t just tied to fashion,” said Hoen, adding that the idea is to build a larger conversation with its readers. There are also videos featuring style tips and a range of articles. Conveniently, “How to find the perfect gift” directs readers to products on mmlafleur.com. Previously, Hoen also spent a year as the editor of Barneys’ content site, “The Window,” which she said helped transition her to the in-house fashion role at MM.Lafleur.
Screenshot of an MM.Lafleur article.
Noelle Sciacca, editorial director, Misha Nonoo
Noelle Sciacca oversees all visual and written content for Misha Nonoo, the women’s contemporary direct-to-consumer brand. Key elements of her job include conceptualizing and producing editorial photo shoots, emails newsletters and social media content, plus collaborating with the brand’s marketing and advertising teams on creatives and copy.
Prior to working for a brand, Sciacca was a fashion reporter at Mashable, where she oversaw women’s fashion, beauty and wearable tech stories, as well as produced fashion and beauty videos, and Snapchat content for its Discover platform. Before that, she was a market editor at the now-defunct Lucky Magazine.
“After covering hundreds of brands over the years, the thought of focusing on one excited me,” she said in an email. “I loved working in journalism, especially print, but the industry has changed drastically since I started. To continue my career in fashion, I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone.”
Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, vp of editorial, Spring
Melissa Liebling-Goldberg has bounced between the publishing and e-commerce industries for a number years, but she has always had fashion- and beauty-focused roles. She worked at People.com, Popsugar and Teen Vogue before making the switch to a retailer in 2011. “Because I was in digital for a long time, the leap to e-commerce was a little easier—I was already immersed in data, analytics and metrics,” she said.
At Spring, the mobile shopping app, Liebling-Goldberg is still focused on storytelling, but rather than news, she leads editorial pieces featuring products from Spring’s 1200 brand partners. For example, she’ll create a travel story around certain must-have products, like Tumi luggage, packable shoes, sunglasses and swimwear. The content appears on Spring’s website, app and social media platforms, as well as in emails. “The transition from publishing to e-commerce was a natural for me. I combined what I loved about print — shooting our own stories, thinking months ahead — with the immediacy of working in digital publishing.”
Scott Wicken, editor-in-chief and head of content, Combatant Gentleman
Combatant Gentlemen’s editorial strategy is to create five to ten articles each week, including how-to guides and how-to articles about travel, tech, dating and advice. Scott Wicken —whose official role is director of creative content for the men’s direct-to-consumer formalwear brand — oversees a team of roughly eight freelance writers: They pitch him articles, or he assigns them stories. When you land on the brand’s homepage, photos of male models are woven into articles such as “What to wear for every holiday date,” which also contain “Shop the look” links.
Formerly a freelance copywriter for men’s brand Grungy Gentlemen, as well as different fashion blogs and sites including Locale Magazine, Wickens said his goal was always to work in-house for a brand. Ultimately, his long-term vision is for the Combatant Gentlemen’s editorial content to stand alone. “We don’t use the content to directly sell products. Millennial males are being sold stuff left, right and centre. For me, it’s important to provide strategic content — not these are the five top-selling shirts for spring.”
Screenshot of a Combatant Gentlemen article.