Asad Syrkett Is the New Editor in Chief of Elle Decor

Hearst Magazines has named Asad Syrkett the new editor-in-chief of Elle Decor, succeeding Whitney Robinson, who stepped down earlier this year.

Syrkett, who begins his new role on September 14, most recently ran all New York operations for Hem, an international furniture brand and design studio based in Stockholm. Previously he was deputy editor at real estate website Curbed and has also held editorial positions at Architectural Digest and Architectural Record magazines.

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In a statement, he described leading Elle Decor into a new era as “incredibly thrilling.” “In any genre, the most impactful journalism offers context, challenges its audience and explores its subjects in nuanced ways that enrich the reader’s perspective,” he said. “I’m excited to bring that to a best-in-class interiors magazine, on every platform.”

Syrkett will report to Stellene Volandes, who was promoted to editorial director of Elle Decor in April, expanding her role as editor in chief of Town & Country. She, too, emphasized the importance of all of Elle Decor’s platforms as the competitor to Architectural Digest enters its next chapter.

“He brings a singular combination of respect and reverence for all that Elle Decor is, with an exciting vision of all that it will and can be,” Volandes said of the new editor in chief. “Every element from the photography, to the feature writing, digital programs, social media and client events will work together to celebrate great design and its impact on every aspect of our world.”

As for the data on those platforms, in its media offering to advertiser, Hearst claims that Elle Decor has 2.2 million unique visitors to its site and a total print circulation of 555,014.

The title recently reduced its print frequency with a summer issue, meaning that it will publish nine issues this year, down from 10 in 2019. This is a trend that has happening across the company for the past few years, only to be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic triggering a plunge in advertising. In addition to Elle Decor, Marie Claire shrank from 11 to seven issues and O, The Oprah Magazine will publish just four special issues a year from next year versus 12 for the past two decades.

And while print frequency has been shrinking, Hearst has been looking to monetize digital more though membership programs and metered paywalls, with advertising remaining volatile. Elle Decor is among that magazines that are yet to receive a paywall.

For more, see:

Whitney Robinson Steps Down as Elle Decor EIC, Stellene Volandes Named Editorial Director

At Hearst Magazines, Print Continues to Shrink

O, The Oprah Magazine’s Print Run Shrinking From 12 Issues to Four

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Asad Syrkett Named Editor in Chief of Elle Decor

Elle Decor has a new top dog. On Wednesday, Hearst announced that Asad Syrkett is the new editor in chief of the three-decade-old shelter title, succeeding Whitney Robinson, who departed the brand in April after nearly three years at the helm. Syrkett, who begins his role on September 14, will report into Stellene Volandes, editorial director of the brand, in addition to her position as editor in chief of Town & Country.

Syrkett most recently led the New York operations and East Coast business development for Hem, a Swedish furniture brand, and previously held editorial positions at a number of architecture and design publications. As deputy editor at Curbed, he directed much of the site’s reporting on design and cities, and oversaw franchises such as the House Calls home tours series and the site’s Travel vertical. He also cohosted the publication’s podcast, The Curbed Appeal, for two seasons. Prior to joining Curbed, he was an editor at Architectural Digest and Architectural Record.

“I’ve spent my career seeking out and obsessing over the best design at any scale,” Syrkett said in a video posted on Instagram. “Furniture, objects, homes, buildings, cities… I truly believe in the power of design to bring us joy, to challenge the way that we see the world and ourselves, and to think more critically about the way we live. In this year of pandemic and protests against racial injustice, the incredible importance of a safe and beautiful sanctuary has been made so viscerally clear to so many of us, especially as it remains inaccessible to so many others. I’m looking forward to continuing that conversation in the pages of the magazine and online. I’m also incredibly excited to work alongside Stellene Volandes and the team, and to bring you stories that I hope will challenge, surprise, and inspire you.”

“[Syrkett] brings a singular combination of respect and reverence for all that Elle Decor is, with an exciting vision of all that it will and can be,” Volandes said in a statement. “Every element from the photography, to the feature writing, digital programs, social media, and client events will work together to celebrate great design and its impact on every aspect of our world.”

Elle Decor currently produces nine issues a year, with a circulation of 525,502, according to its 2020 media kit. It receives an estimated 2.2 million unique monthly visitors to its website, ElleDecor.com.

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Write About Home Decor for Elle Decor Magazine

Elle Decor magazine is where any article writer would want to see your name in. Not to mention that it pays well, publishing in Elle Decor is very prestigious and would be at the top of any writer's resume. Writing about any subject related to home decor requires a good homework to be done before you come up with your article aspiring to catch the editor's eye.

Choose the Right Topic

The homes featured in Elle Decor magazine are only the finest and the most elegant. So if you pitch an article about shabby chic or primitive decoration, the editor is unlikely to want your writing. Homes that fit Elle Decor magazine can be found in every city, but you, the writer, must figure out where. A good place to look is your city's Christmas or spring tour of homes. Only homeowners who have great decor and are proud of it would put their home on a tour.

After you have identified a house that you think reaches Elle Decor magazine standards, check through past issues to make sure that particular house has never been profiled. Also, make sure to come up with a fresh approach. The editor will never take a story on a home's distinctive topiary, for example, if she ran another topiary story the previous month.

Elle's editorial board requires sophistication first, but beyond that, the magazine features styles from all over the world. Though the magazine is originally French, Elle's home decor style is rather international.

Send Your Query

Just like with any magazine, you must find out about Elle Decor's editorial guidelines – the magazine's rules for submission. The guidelines will specify word count limit for each section: features, reviews and trends. Some editors require that you send relevant pictures with your submission. Reference to your previously published work is also a common requirement.

Being such a prestigious magazine, Elle Decor doesn't highlight the right contact information and the editorial guidelines. Getting this information and sending a dazzling letter to the right person at the right time is actually part of your pitch. If you can get a piece of paper in front of the right editor – a super busy woman with plenty of secretaries to intercept bad letters – it shows you probably have the tenacity of a good writer.

If you are new to writing, starting with Elle Decor will hardly be possible because previously published articles are a must. You can write for some other magazines, get some experience along with good references, and then try to get to Elle Decor bearing in mind the above-mentioned suggestions.

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