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Hearst Taps Samira Nasr as Harper’s Bazaar Editor in Chief

Kathryn Hopkins

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Six months after Glenda Bailey revealed she was stepping down from Harper’s Bazaar after almost two decades at the helm, Hearst Magazines executives have finally filled her shoes.

Samira Nasr has just been unveiled as Bazaar’s new editor in chief. She joins from Vanity Fair, where she has worked as executive fashion director since 2018.  Nasr is no stranger to Hearst Tower, though, having worked as Elle’s fashion director for five years. Prior to that, she was style director for InStyle and has also styled campaigns for fashion and beauty brands including Laura Mercier, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Clarins, and more. She began her career in fashion working as an assistant to Grace Coddington at Vogue.

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She takes over at Bazaar on July 6.

The appointment of Nasr, who is well thought of in the industry, will widely be viewed as a move to attract a younger audience to Bazaar and in a statement, she touched on some of the changes she plans to make to the fashion glossy.

“Fashion and Bazaar are synonymous,” Nasr said. “It is a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with moving this legacy brand into a new era — one that is colorful, inclusive and celebrates the beauty of fashion on every platform — while carrying on the tradition of innovative art direction and great style that the Bazaar audience loves so much. The most beautiful part of working in magazines is the teamwork and creating a community. I can’t wait to get started.”

Troy Young, the president of Hearst Magazines, added that Nasr’s “important voice will continue to evolve the brand’s distinct position as a style touchstone for fashion’s most discerning.”

Nasr, who was born in Montreal, is understood to have been the frontrunner for some time, although she denied this to WWD in late April. It’s thought the process of onboarding was delayed due to fashion month and then the spread of the coronavirus, which has forced most companies to work from home.

That’s why Hearst previously named executive fashion director Nicole Fritton and digital director Joyann King “interim co-captains” overseeing the Bazaar print and digital edit teams and working directly with Kate Lewis, Hearst’s chief content officer on all aspects of the brand.

Before that, Hearst took its time to find a successor for Bailey, casting its net far and wide and interviewing many candidtates based in New York, London and Mexico. The salary on offer, thought to be much lower than during the heyday of magazine publishing, is understood to have been a sticking point for some candidates.

As well as Nasr, rumors have also circulated for weeks that Nina Garcia, editor in chief of Elle, could be brought on as editorial director overseeing both Elle and Bazaar. If such a move did happen, it would make her Nasr’s boss. This is something that Garcia has in the past denied.

Hearst did something similar recently with Stellene Volandes, naming her editorial director of Elle Decor, expanding her role as editor in chief of Town & Country.

As for Bailey, she’s not going far. She is to work with editorial teams and fashion and beauty marketers “to develop partnerships and portfolios,” Hearst said. “In addition, Bailey will produce two special reports each year.”