Harper's Bazaar appoints first editor-in-chief of color in 153-year history

This is the first time the women's fashion magazine has had a person of color at the helm.
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Samira Nasr has previously worked at Vanity Fair, Elle and InStyle.Arnold Jerocki / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

On Tuesday, Hearst Magazines announced that Samira Nasr has been appointed editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Harper’s Bazaar, overseeing content strategy and development across the brand’s print and digital platforms.

Hearst Magazines/Guggenheim Productions

This is the first time in its history that the women's fashion magazine, founded in 1867, has had a person of color at the helm.

“Fashion and Bazaar are synonymous,” Nasr said in a statement sent to TODAY Style. “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.”

Born in Montreal, Canada, Nasr is half-Lebanese and half-Trinidadian. The single mother of one currently resides in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old son.

"Harper’s Bazaar is a leading American fashion brand with a point of view that is hugely influential in the U.S. and around the world,” Hearst Magazines president Troy Young said in a statement. “Samira's important voice will continue to evolve the brand's distinct position as a style touchstone for fashion’s most discerning.”

Nasr was most recently executive fashion director at Vanity Fair, where she managed and directed the magazine's fashion department and fashion content. Before that, she was a fashion director at Elle magazine for five years, as well as a style director for InStyle.

“Bazaar has always presented the world of fashion through a unique lens — smart, vibrant, adoring. Those words could not better describe Samira, who understands and delights in the world of fashion, but has a thoroughly modern and distinctive take,” Hearst Magazines chief content officer Kate Lewis said. “She innately understands the Bazaar woman because she is the Bazaar woman: passionate about fashion, culture and the issues that matter today. I know she will make something magical here.”

Announcement of Nasr's appointment comes as many brands in the media industry are reassessing their role in the fight for racial justice, whether that means rethinking diversity inside the company or re-examining their commitment to editorial "objectivity."

On Monday, editors at Bon Appétit and Refinery29 resigned amid staff protest over their leadership. Christene Barberich, the co-founder of Refinery29, announced she would step down after several employees said they had been discriminated against while working at the company. "We have to do better," Barberich said in a statement, "and that starts with making room."

Nasr begins her role on July 6.