A decade ago, Laura Brown walked into an East Village art gallery and saw two rows of benches on the wall. The front row was occupied by her.
It could have been a scene in a bad fashion movie, like the one Ms. Brown describes as a "B.F.M." or "bad fashion movie." The editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine had her job eliminated by the publisher.
A fallen editor makes her first public appearance at a fashion show, striding into a den of whispers and side- eyes as steely as ever.
Ms. Brown was not the closest a mainstream fashion editor could come to Miranda Priestly. She didn't show up with sunglasses and a smirk. She was wearing beachy waves and smiling. She made her seatmates laugh while shrugged them.
She didn't say "I left" when people asked about InStyle. She didn't want to leave for a while to collect myself and then announce her next thing.
She was aware that the power of magazines was not what it used to be. In the past, social media gave the fashion industry a level playing field, but in today's front row, top editors are sandwiched between famous friends of the brand Ms. Brown was all at once.
Ms. Brown said that she knew what equity she had earned while having lunch in Paris. Being the editor in chief of InStyle didn't make me worth anything.
What power did those magazines hold? Ms. Brown was raised by a single mother and as a teenager she worked at a seafood restaurant. She said that without the internet she felt like she was in another world. She hated working for magazines.
She moved to New York a week before the terrorist attacks. The age of imperial editors was still going strong. Ms. Brown had only been working at Talk magazine for a few weeks when she found out the magazine was folding. Actors were hatching from eggs.
Ms. Brown worked at W and Details for a short time. Glenda Bailey, the magazine's editor at the time, favored theatrical photography, like the picture of RiR lounging in the mouth of a shark. The Simpsons was sent to Paris with Linda Evangelista more than a decade ago.
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a "sandwich card of chic"
Ms. Brown befriended some very famous women. During her first interview with Ms. Brown, she remembered a cheese board with sweating cheese. As sweaty as I was, this piece of Brie was getting sweatier and sweatier as the day went on. We didn't pay much attention to it the whole time. The elephant in the room was Ms. Aniston and her separation from brad Pitt. I said to her, 'That sucks.'
The center of gravity was shifted away from the women and they felt less alienated by Ms. Brown. Pfeiffer said that Laura was bouncing on the couch like an 8-year-old when she met her.
A tour of Ms. Brown's high-end closet was filmed byHarper's Bazaar. Ms. Shipka said she was getting ready in her bathroom when the bright energy came through. They danced on the booths to Whitney Houston at a restaurant last month. She said there was no pressure to perform around her.
Ms. Brown said befriending these women wasn't difficult. They saw her as a rarity and she wanted them to feel welcome. Ms. Brown said that she eats spaghetti. She wasn't one of the "pointy people," another term she uses for a certain kind of fashion person: exclusionary, intimidating, obsessed with punching a "sandwich card of chic"
Ms. Brown wears floral tops and wide-leg jeans in her uniform. I'm chic because I have this body. I am chic because I have been invited to this party. That isn't very creative.
"I used to think that everyone in New York fashion was on a super highway. I'm more connected, more glamorous and smarter than you are. She practically cackles when she says "this is not Mensa."
Filling the void of Fashion
After 11 years at Harper's Bazaar, Ms. Brown was named editor of In Style. She wore a white shirt with the words "In" on the front and "Style" on the back. The message was that everyone was invited to the party. The party took on end-of-the-world vibes.
The work of activists like Ay Tometi of Black Lives Matter galvanized Ms. Brown.
Travel restrictions meant instead of attending fashion weeks or advertiser trips, you could "buckle back down to the journalism itself." Nine of the industry's most influential fashion magazines were asked by The New York Times about their racial representation.
InStyle was owned by the company Dotdash in November of 2011. InStyle ceased publication two months later and Ms. Brown was let go.
She was concerned for younger people on her team. According to an Australian term, she didn't "chuck a wobbly." She married a writer named Brandon Borror-Chappell in Hawaii in front of a bunch of famous friends while wearing a taffy.
Ms. Brown said she might get less handbags sent to her. You take it with you if you have earned your stripes. You don't just go off into space.
She was prepared to some degree. She registered Laura Brown Media two years ago and started thinking about her next move.
Today's moves are clear: Ms. Brown will release a new show in early 2023 called "So seen", made with SeeHer, which is devoted to depictions of women in marketing and media.
She is working on a film with Bruna Papandrea, a producer of the shows "The Undoing" and "Big Little Lies". She is working for a brand. She is collaborating with a brand in France.
In October, at a dinner celebrating that collaboration, Ms. Brown was the host and court jester and did funny little dances. Ms. Brown is called the grand connector. Laura Brown doesn't want anyone to know who she knows.
Sezane had rented a TriBeCa apartment and filled it with a bookcase full of sweaters that she would give away to the guests at the end of the night. The actresses and models hesitated for a moment. All pretenses were dropped when Ms. Brown began throwing knits at people. The women put sweaters in their arms. Everyone was cool about it. There was something about that that made Laura Brown think.
She had a good idea of what fashion worlds she wanted to be in and what she didn't. I'm not interested in the ones that are straight forward. I enjoy color, creativity, generosity and warmth.
Keywords: East Village art, Village art gallery, Brown, Laura Brown