Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Marie Welteroth (born December 10, 1986)[1] is an American journalist, editor,[2] author, [3] and television host. In April 2016, Welteroth was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, making her the second person of African-American heritage in Condé Nast's 107-year history to hold such a title.[4] Her promotion to editor at age 29 makes her the second youngest editor in Condé Nast history, behind former Teen Vogue EIC Lindsay Peoples Wagner who was 28 when she started in the role in Condé Nast.[5] When she became beauty director of Teen Vogue in 2012, Welteroth was the first person of African-American heritage to serve in the role.[6] She is credited for the notable increase of Teen Vogue coverage of politics and social justice,[7] encouraging readers to become civically engaged, specifically during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[8] Under Welteroth's leadership of Teen Vogue's shifting format, the magazine developed its first YouTube channel, featuring content on diverse subjects from campus style to cultural appropriation.[9] The final print edition of Teen Vogue was December 2017.

Elaine Welteroth
Elaine Welteroth on Ashley Graham.jpg
Welteroth interviewed by Ashley Graham in 2020.
Elaine Marie Welteroth

(1986-12-10) December 10, 1986 (age 34)
Alma materCalifornia State University-Sacramento
OccupationMagazine editor
television host
Years active2008–present
EmployerConde Nast Publications
Known forEditor-in-chief, Teen Vogue
PredecessorAmy Astley

On January 11, 2018, Welteroth resigned from Teen Vogue and moved to California and signed with CAA.[10] In October 2018, Welteroth became a judge on Project Runway as part of the series' return to Bravo.[11] In June 2019 her memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say), was published by Viking.[12]

Early lifeEdit

Welteroth was born in Newark, California to a white father and African American mother.[13] She grew up in Fremont, California and in 2004, she graduated from Newark Memorial High School in Newark, California, where she competed in track and field.[14] In 2007, Welteroth graduated from California State University, Sacramento, majoring in mass communication/media studies with a minor in journalism.[15]


Welteroth's first job in her hometown was being a mascot for her local Hometown Buffet, wearing a bird suit. She has described the best career advice she's ever received as: "Bite off more than you can chew. And then chew as fast as you can".[16] As a Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) Fellow, Welteroth secured an internship at the advertising, marketing, and public relations firm, Ogilvy & Mather, upon graduation from California State University-Sacramento.[17] She then became a content producer for SomaGirls.TV, a digital media company.[18] Welteroth broke into the magazine industry via an unpaid internship at Ebony magazine.[19] In pursuit of the internship, Welteroth wrote Harriette Cole, then editor in chief, a letter asking for an informational interview, sent her an email, and called her assistant numerous times. Cole gave Welteroth the chance to assist with a cover shoot for Serena Williams in Los Angeles.[20] Impressed with Welteroth's professionalism on set, Cole decided to fly her out for an internship with Cole at Ebony; Welteroth then later became Cole's assistant.[21] This next became a permanent position as the magazine's Beauty & Style Editor from 2008 to 2011.[19]

Welteroth joined Condé Nast in September 2011 by becoming the Beauty & Style editor for Glamour magazine in 2011, and then Senior Beauty Editor. She became the Beauty & Health Director at Teen Vogue in October 2012, making her the first African-American to hold this position.[19] In the February 2013 copy of Teen Vogue, her debut issue as Beauty & Health Director, she penned the article "Natural Wonder", where Welteroth encouraged readers to embrace their natural hair texture while also sharing her favorite natural hair products.[22] Welteroth was named editor of Teen Vogue in May 2016, replacing the founding editor-in-chief Amy Astley when Astley left to become editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest.[23] On September 8, 2016, Welteroth was honored at the 2016 Fashion Show & Style Awards through Harlem's Fashion Row, a platform for multicultural fashion designers, as Editor of the Year.[21] In 2016, Welteroth was named number 47 on The Root's list of 100 influential African-Americans.[24] Condé Nast officially named Welteroth editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue on April 29, 2017.[25] In 2017, Girls Write Now, a non-profit mentorship program based in New York City which encourages at-risk girls to find their voices through writing, named her an honoree for their May 23 annual awards ceremony.[26]

In 2020, Welteroth was named to the Ebony Power 100 List.[27]

On 1 December 2020, Welteroth was confirmed to be replacing Eve on the daytime talk show, The Talk.[28] Nine months later, it was revealed that Welteroth would no longer be on the show.

Social media influenceEdit

Via Instagram, Welteroth quickly developed her brand and Teen Vogue's brand by posting behind the scenes photos and videos of photoshoots, her personal photos, and selfies with celebrities. In 2014, as Teen Vogue's beauty and health director, she was invited by Target to update a Fashion Week Instagram Diary of her experience being backstage at the New York and London Fashion Weeks.[29] Her social media also broadcasts her own accomplishments and Teen Vogue's accomplishments, by sharing personal footage from her personal and professional life at least once or twice a day.[30]

Influence on Teen VogueEdit

Welteroth expanded the magazine's focus and received recognition for the noticeable increase of content in Teen Vogue on politics and social justice, including critical coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[31][8][32] Welteroth's first issue to print as editor of Teen Vogue had Willow Smith as the cover model and featured headlines like "Cultural Appreciation: Real Girls, Real Beauty, Real Talk".[33] The December 2016 cover featured actresses and feminists, Rowan Blanchard and Yara Shahidi on the "Smart Girls" issue. Welteroth also invited Blanchard and Shahidi to serve as guest editors, the first ever in the history of the publication.[34] She also kicked off the "Teen Vogue Book Club" with Blanchard and Shahidi selecting their favorite book, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Blanchard, Shahidi, and Welteroth used Teen Vogue's Facebook account to live stream a discussion about the book in November 2016, allowing the magazine's target audience to engage with political texts by black women that have shaped the continued work of scholar-activists.[35] The December 2016 issue also featured a conversation between American actress Zendaya Coleman and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama on the worldwide education of girls.[36][37]

This new direction for the magazine emphasizes digital publication, and the print magazine publication schedule was changed from 10 issues per year, in a small format, to becoming a quarterly publication, in a larger, thicker format.[38] Teen Vogue developed a YouTube channel which, as of March 2017, has over 500,00 subscribers and over 800 pieces of original content, for instance "A Fact Check on Trump's First Speech to Congress", uploaded March 1, 2017. The video allows viewers to recap former president Donald Trump]]'s speech to Congress.

On December 7, 2016, Teen Vogue made an appearance on the award-winning ABC sitcom Black-ish. In the episode "Nothing, but Nepotism", Welteroth plays herself as editor of Teen Vogue while Black-ish character Zoe gets the opportunity to intern at Teen Vogue to boost her high school resume by using her advertising executive father's professional connections.[39] The episode resulted in discussions on nepotism in the black community, such as the article, "On black nepotism and this week's epic 'black-ish' & 'Teen Vogue' crossover" by Blavity writer Trey Mangum. During the advance screening of the episode and discussion, Welteroth raised the question, "Is black nepotism just leveling the playing field?"[40]

At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern credited Welteroth for developing Teen Vogue into a publication that "treats teenagers like rounded human beings with agency and intellect".[41] Stern continues with, "The result is a teen glossy with seriously good political coverage and legal analysis, an outlet for teenagers who—shockingly!—are able to think about fashion and current events simultaneously."[41]

Feminist writer Lara Witt praised Teen Vogue in the article, "Vogue Magazine Has A Race Problem, And It's Getting Tired", featured on Wear Your Voice. Witt stated, "Rather than participating in the blatant erasure of people of color and our cultures, Vogue’s younger sibling has included features celebrating indigenous, South Asian, East Asian, black and Muslim teens. Thanks to their radical push to be unafraid to represent more than just white, heterosexual, cisgender women, Teen Vogue is providing more readers with representation."[42]

Public speakingEdit

During the 2015 New York Fashion Week, Welteroth facilitated a discussion about diversity in fashion, beauty standards, and cultural appropriation with former model turned fashion activist, Bethann Hardison, at "The Future of Fashion Talk Series," sponsored by HQ Events.[43] Welteroth speaks at varying conferences like the 2017 PATH 40-year celebration and the 2017 Women of Power Summit through Black Enterprise magazine.[44][45] During these conferences, she has spoken on topics ranging from integrative technology and global health to activism and culture.

Personal lifeEdit

In December 2016, Welteroth became engaged to musician Jonathan Singletary and was married in May 2020. The wedding took place in their street and followed strict social distancing laws set out as a result of COVID-19. The two originally met as children while they attended the same church.[46] She also provided background vocals for Singletary's song, "Don't Fight Alone".[47]


  • More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are New York: Viking, 2019. ISBN 9780525561583, OCLC 1103468376[48][49][50][51]


  1. ^ "Elaine Marie Welteroth – California Birth Index". FamilySearch. 10 December 1986.
  2. ^ Hughes, Jazmine (31 August 2017). "Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue's Refashionista". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - June 30, 2019 - The New York Times" – via NYTimes.com.
  4. ^ Wilson, Julee (2016-05-19). "Elaine Welteroth Named new Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue, And we all Rejoice". Essence.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  5. ^ "Director-Level Doers". Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management. 45 (4): 21–26. 2016.
  6. ^ "Teen Vogue Hires New Editorial Head, Elaine Welteroth". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  7. ^ Noah, Trevor (14 February 2017). "Elaine Welteroth & Phillip Picardi – How Teen Vogue Has Grown Up-The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Video Clip" (Video interview). The Daily Show. Comedy Central.
  8. ^ a b Gilbert, Sophie (12 December 2016). "Teen Vogue's Political Coverage Isn't Surprising". The Atlantic.
  9. ^ "Teen Vogue". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  10. ^ "Elaine Welteroth Is Leaving Condé Nast [UPDATED]". Fashionista. Retrieved Jul 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "'Project Runway': Karlie Kloss, Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth Join Retooled Bravo Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  12. ^ Welteroth, Elaine (2019). More than enough : claiming space for who you are (no matter what they say). New York. ISBN 9780525561583. OCLC 1090709369.
  13. ^ Welteroth, Elaine (24 June 2015). "Why This Teen Vogue Beauty Story Started an Important Conversation About Race". Teen Vogue.
  14. ^ "Newark Memorial HS – Athlete Records – Womens". Athletic.net. May 2005.
  15. ^ B., Sesali (26 May 2016). "Elaine Welteroth Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Bossing Up". Flavorwire.
  16. ^ "Trendsetters at Work:Teen Vogue". E! Online. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  17. ^ "Teen Vogue EIC Started Out as an MAIP Intern". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  18. ^ "Elaine Welteroth is the epitome of Black girl magic". Rolling Out. 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  19. ^ a b c "Elaine Welteroth Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Bossing Up". Flavorwire. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  20. ^ The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Careers in Fashion. Penguin. 2014. p. 92.
  21. ^ a b RevengeFashionTV (2016-09-19), Elaine Welteroth Receives Editor Of The Year Award (2016), retrieved 2017-05-12
  22. ^ The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Careers in Fashion. Penguin. 2014. p. 94.
  23. ^ Wilson, Julee (19 May 2016). "Elaine Welteroth Named new Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue, And we all Rejoice". Essence.
  24. ^ "The Root 100 – 2016". The Root. 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  25. ^ "Teen Vogue Makes It Official, Appoints Elaine Welteroth Editor in Chief". WWD. 29 April 2017.
  26. ^ "MEET THE 2017 GIRLS WRITE NOW AWARDS HONOREES AND EMCEE". www.girlswritenow.org. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  27. ^ #teamEBONY (2020-02-26). "2020 EBONY POWER 100 LIST". EBONY. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  28. ^ "Elaine Welteroth, Amanda Kloots Join 'The Talk' as New Co-Hosts". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Teen Vogue's Elaine Welteroth's Fashion Week Instagram Diary". Target Corporation. 25 February 2014. Archived from the original on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  30. ^ Dua, Tany (23 August 2016). "Inside the Instagram with Teen Vogue's Elaine Welteroth". Glossy.
  31. ^ Parkinson, Hannah Jane (12 December 2016). "Who will take on Donald Trump? Teen Vogue". The Guardian.
  32. ^ Mettler, Katie (12 December 2016). "In 'scorched-earth' op-ed, a Teen Vogue writer says Trump is 'gaslighting America'". The Washington Post.
  33. ^ "Teen Vogue EIC Amy Astley Exits, Elaine Welteroth Promoted! – FFT – Spotting Trends". FFT – Spotting Trends. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  34. ^ Welteroth, Elaine. "There's Going to Be a 'Teen Vogue' Episode of 'Black-ish'!". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  35. ^ "Teen Vogue is Starting a Book Club". www.adweek.com. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  36. ^ "A user's guide to Teen Vogue, which is quietly doing very good journalism". 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-12.
  37. ^ SixK.LA, Manicure by Marisa Carmichael using Formula X,Makeup by Fiona Stiles for Fiona Stiles Beauty,Matthew Frost,Zendaya Coleman,Michelle Cameron,Hair by Kim Kimble at. "We Had Zendaya Interview Michelle Obama, And It's ALL the #BlackGirlMagic We Need RN". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2017-05-12.
  38. ^ Sherman, Lauren (7 November 2016). "BoF Exclusive: Teen Vogue to Go Quarterly, Invest in Digital". The Business of Fashion.
  39. ^ Welteroth, Elaine. "There's Going to Be a 'Teen Vogue' Episode of 'Black-ish'!". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  40. ^ "On black nepotism and this week's epic 'black-ish' & 'Teen Vogue' crossover". blavity.com. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  41. ^ a b Stern, Mark Joseph (12 December 2016). "Teen Vogue's Fiery Trump Takedown Shouldn't Be a Surprise. Teen Vogue Rocks". Slate.
  42. ^ "Vogue Magazine Has a Race Problem, And It's Getting Tired". Wear Your Voice. 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  43. ^ Wilson, Julee (2015-09-15). "For True Diversity In Fashion, We've 'Gotta Keep Calling People Out'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  44. ^ "A Conversation with Gayle King; Teen Vogue's Elaine Welteroth: 4 Takeaways on How Millennials Transform Media". www.blackenterprise.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  45. ^ "Don't miss our one-of-a-kind Seattle celebration". PATH Blog. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  46. ^ Diamond, Amelia (1 February 2017). "How Elaine Welteroth met her fiancé, Jonathan Singletary". Man Repeller.
  47. ^ Singletary, Jonathan (2016). "Don't Fight Alone" (Audio). SoundCloud.
  48. ^ "Former 'Teen Vogue' Editor Shares Her Memoir — And Her Manifesto". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  49. ^ America, Good Morning. "Elaine Welteroth: You have 'more than enough' power, potential to achieve your goals". Good Morning America. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  50. ^ "Race, power, drive: Elaine Welteroth shares all in new book". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  51. ^ "Teen Vogue editor-in-chief and "Project Runway" judge Elaine Welteroth champions women of color in new book 'More Than Enough'". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-06-11.

External linksEdit