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Refinery29 is an American digital media and entertainment company focused on young women.

Refinery29 logo.svg
Type of site
Media and Entertainment
Available inEnglish
FoundedNovember 2005; 14 years ago (2005-11)
225 Broadway, New York, NY 10007
OwnerVice Media
Founder(s)Philippe von Borries, Justin Stefano, Piera Gelardi, Christene Barberich[1]
EmployeesOver 500 (as of October 2017)[4]
Alexa rankIncrease 1,246 (January 2016)[2]
LaunchedSummer 2005
Current statusActive


Justin Stefano, Philippe von Borries, Piera Gelardi, and Christene Barberich co-founded Refinery29 in 2005 as a fashion focused city guide, emphasizing unique fashion discoveries that were local to New York City. The name of the website alludes to the website distilling information into its essence.[5] The company headquarters is located in the Financial District, Manhattan neighborhood of New York City.[6]

Refinery29 has over 450 employees globally[7] and has offices in Los Angeles,[8] London,[9] and Berlin.[9] In 2015, the company launched a UK edition at and the following year in 2016, a German edition at In 2016, Refinery29 announced it had raised $45 million in funding led by Turner.[10] As of 2017, Refinery29 reaches an audience of over 500 million globally across platforms.[11]

On October 2, 2019, Vice Media (owned by Shane Smith (20%), The Walt Disney Company (16%), A&E Networks (20%), TPG Capital (44%), and recently by James Murdoch (minority stake)) announced that it would acquire Refinery29. The deal values the combined company at $4 billion.[12]


Refinery29 produces editorial and video programming, live events, and social, shareable content delivered across major social media platforms, and covers a variety of categories including style, health, food, entertainment, careers, technology, news, politics, and more. In August 2018, Refinery29 made an official section for music journalism on their website.[13][14] Although this official section was created in 2018, music writing on Refinery29 was widespread before this date. As early as 2013, Refinery29 published "The Best Music Blogs That Aren't Pitchfork," featuring other online music publications like The Fader, Obscure Sound and Earmilk.[15]

Refinery29 has accounts on Snapchat and Instagram, where they upload various photos, videos and articles on a range of topics for young women. One of the accounts is under the name "R29unbothered", which is for women of color by women of color. It covers every aspect of in the life of women of color from topics like hair and skin to work environment and relationships. It features different speakers in a series called "Go Off Sis", in which Black millennial women share their experiences and views on a range of topics and controversial issues.

Refinery29 was listed three consecutive years on Crain's "Fast 50",[16][17][18] has won seven Clio Awards,[19][20][21][22][23][24] and seven Webby Awards.[25][26][25][27][28][29]

The company produces an annual pop-up exhibition, 29Rooms, where visitors commonly take self-portraits for sharing on Instagram.[30][31] 29Rooms was launched in 2015 on Refinery29's 10-Year Anniversary.[32]


  1. ^ "How Two First-Time Founders Went From $28,000 Salaries To Owning A $100 Million Media Brand". Business Insider. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  2. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Refinery29 - Contact Information". Refinery29. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "Refinery29 Aims to Help Brands Connect With Women IRL". Adweel. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "life's essentials include a budget". Archived from the original on 2010-06-05.
  6. ^ Michael Nunez (12 December 2011). "Refinery29: Boutique Fashion and Design for All". International Business Times.
  7. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra (2017-03-01). "Refinery29 Charts New Course of Growth Amid Restructuring". WWD. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  8. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-06-29). "Refinery29 Hires MTV Vet Joanna Bomberg as Head of Talent (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  9. ^ a b Crook, Jordan. "Refinery29 launches in Germany". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  10. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Refinery29 raises $45M more led by Turner at a $500M valuation". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  11. ^ "Refinery29 Aims to Help Brands Connect With Women IRL". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  12. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 2, 2019). "Vice media to adquire Refinery29, as both digital media players seek scale". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  13. ^ "Top Music 2016, Best Concert And Music Festival News". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  14. ^ "Wayback Machine". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  15. ^ "The Best Music Blogs That Aren't Pitchfork". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  16. ^ "No. 12 Refinery29 - 2014 Fast 50 | Crain's New York Business". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  17. ^ "With $50M funding round, Refinery29 could join the ranks of Buzzfeed and Vox". Archived from the original on 2017-03-30.
  18. ^ "Seven media and entertainment companies make Crain's Fast 50". Archived from the original on 2017-03-29.
  19. ^ "Refinery29 - 29Rooms". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  20. ^ "Refinery29 - Refinery29's 2016 Stick Out! Calendar". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  21. ^ "Refinery29 - Daughter of Paradise". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  22. ^ "Refinery29 x H&M - In Motion". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  23. ^ "Refinery29 - Refinery29 This AM". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  24. ^ "Refinery29 Short Cuts x Cancerland - Cancerland". Clios. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  25. ^ a b "Fashion & Beauty". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  26. ^ "Refinery29 | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  27. ^ "The Skinny | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  28. ^ "Refinery29 | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  29. ^ "Refinery29 Social Content & Marketing Submission | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  30. ^ Herrington, Nicole (November 1, 2018). "Funhouse for Selfies: The Immersive 29Rooms Pops Up (Again)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  31. ^ Ryzik, Melena (December 22, 2017). "29Rooms Is a Creative Playhouse for the Instagram Set". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  32. ^ "History". 29Rooms from Refinery29. Retrieved 2019-04-12.

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