For the first time in its 103-year-history, Condé Nast has named a black editor to head one of its magazines.
Keija Minor is now editor-in-chief of Brides, the world’s largest weddings magazine. She succeeds Anne Fulenwider who left Brides earlier this month to become editor-in-chief of Marie Claire. Minor had been executive editor of Brides since November 2011, and was acting editor-in-chief after Fulenwider left. Before Brides, Minor was editor-in-chief of Uptown Magazine, a luxury title targeting African Americans. She was also editor-in-chief of Gotham.
In addition to Brides, Condé Nast publishes GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, and Vogue among other titles. In its press release, Condé Nast praised Minor as being a gifted editor but it did not tout the fact that she is the first African American to helm one of its publications. Other news organizations did.
Minor’s promotion is exciting news, and not just because it represents a milestone for Condé Nast, or because if you want to get more women and people of color in an industry, it’s nice to be able to point to someone as proof they might be able to ascend to the same heights as white people and men. As a University of Nevada at Las Vegas study pointed out six years ago, African-American women are almost invisible in bridal magazines, from the advertisements to the covers. It’s a form of erasure that suggests that the bridal industry doesn’t see black women as potential customers, an assumption with a whole host of other implications about African-American women and marriage. Hopefully, Minor can play some role in correcting that imbalance, her role a reminder that African-American women don’t just have weddings, they can help shape the ideal of them.