Austin Woman sat down with Lindsay Peoples Wagner to talk about Teen Vogue’s birthday party, her own Sweet 16 memories and her role as editor-in-chief.
By Courtney Runn
Last night, Teen Vogue celebrated its Sweet 16 in style at P6 in partnership with jewelry brandLightbox. Ahead of the sparkly, pink fête, Austin Woman chatted with Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner about the publication’s legacy and her own Sweet 16 memories.
Austin Woman: Why did Teen Vogue choose Austin for its Sweet 16?
Lindsay Peoples Wagner: I’m from the Midwest, so when I started this job, I really wanted to make sure we were going to our readers instead of always expecting them to come to us in New York. I personally love being in the South, with my dad being from Alabama and a lot of my summers being spent there as a child. Austin felt like a natural fit for us to celebrate.
AW: What are you looking forward to exploring in Austin?
LPW: This is my first time here but I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about the culture and fashion community in Austin, so I’m excited to see it for myself. And hopefully, I have time to eat some good barbecue!
AW: Sixteen years in, what do you think is Teen Vogue’s legacy and how do you hope to make an impact as editor-in-chief?
LPW: I think the legacy of Teen Vogue is that we have always been the place where young people can feel seen and heard. I personally want to make an impact on the publication by ensuring inclusivity in everything we do and making sure we are serving our reader with the knowledge and tools to make any decision, from what shoes to buy to who to vote for.
AW: Do you have any special memories of your own Sweet 16?
LPW: I was very into my 16th birthday party, which explains why I’m so excited for Teen Vogue’s! My parents rented out a room at the local Cheesecake Factory, which was the hot spot at the time, and I handmade the invitations and had a white stretch limo. Needless to say, it was epic.
AW: For The Cut, you wrote about what it’s like to be black and in the fashion industry, and now you’re one of the youngest and only black women at the helm of a major publication. What has that experience been like so far?
LPW: It’s been incredible to transition from writing about all these problems in the industry to finally being able to be in a position of making the changes I’ve dreamed about my whole life.
AW: Millennials get a lot of flak and Gen Z is starting to get the same treatment. What do you think is most misunderstood about your target demographic and how are you inspired by your readers?
LPW: The most misunderstood thing about Teen Vogue readers, and young people in general, is that because they’re young, they don’t need to be taken seriously—and that’s a huge mistake. Young people are at the forefront of so many important conversations, whether it be sustainability or politics, and they’re not just the future; they’re the present and hungry to make change.
AW: What advice would you give to women who want to work in media and/or fashion?
LPW: Understand that nothing good comes easy, and all things take time. Be hungry to do the work, and less thirsty for attention and followers.
AW: We’ve already hit our first 100-degree day in Austin this year. What is your go-to makeup routine in the summer to beat the heat?
LPW: I love a good face mist from Tatcha or Mario Badescu and Glossier concealer. No need for heavy foundation because all it does is melt off!