When One Magazine Closes A New One Opens: An Interview With People StyleWatch’s New Executive Editor Suzanne D’Amato
We were all a little disheartened when Conde Nast announced they would be shuttering their promising, four-year-old design publication Domino in January. The larger question on industry insiders’ mind was where was their staff—with industry big wigs like Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello and Dara Caponigro—going to end up? Perhaps that’s why we were so excited when the press release came to us announcing former Domino features editor Suzanne D’Amato had found a new home with Time Warner‘s newest venture People StyleWatch. We had to go right out and exclusively interview Suzanne about the ups and downs of the industry as well as her exciting new job. Check out some of the highlights from our interview below.
The closing of Domino was certainly a sad event. What were some things you did immediately after you were notified that helped pave the way for your new career opportunity?
The week we got the news, I was pretty shaken up, but soon after that, I dusted off my resume and emailed every person I knew in New York (former bosses, old coworkers, friends, friends of friends, you name it) to try to set up meetings. People had heard the news and wanted to help. I pursued every lead I received—even those that seemed unlikely to pan out or weren’t quite related to my background. You just never know.
What advice would you give people currently in a similar position?
Treat each day like a work day, and each meeting like an interview. Try to meet with as many people as possible—you never know who someone knows. And I don’t mean this to sound glib, but try to make the most of your time off. It might end sooner than you think!
For more from our exclusive interview, check out the article after the jump.
What were/are you excited to undertake as Executive Editor at People StyleWatch?
All sorts of things. I’m a fan of the magazine—when I taught a Fashion Writing class at NYU last fall, the November issue of StyleWatch was the assigned reading one week—so I’m excited to learn how they do what they do so successfully. And of course, I hope to contribute great writing and editing, plus innovative story packaging ideas.
You’ve had a great career in publishing. What background or experience will you directly applying to your new position at People StyleWatch?
Each experience I’ve had has taught me something that will be valuable at StyleWatch. At Domino, I learned about packaging stories and the art of saying an awful lot in very few words. At the Washington Post, I managed people, ran closes and launched our section’s fashion and beauty coverage. At Teen Vogue, I learned to edit, to be an “ideas person” and to re-think a venerable brand for a new audience. And at Vogue, I learned to write. I expect the new gig to put all of these skills to the test.
As it happens, I ended up in a job that is similar in some ways to the one I’d had, but before I got the offer from StyleWatch, I was considering everything from ghostwriting to ad copywriting. A girl’s gotta eat!
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