Condé Nast has announced the launch of them, a next-generation community platform. them chronicles and celebrates the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community. Acclaimed editor Phillip Picardi, digital editorial director of Teen Vogue and Allure, is the chief content officer of them. Additionally, launch partners of them include Burberry, Google, Lyft and GLAAD.
“There is a cultural revolution happening that is — as always — spearheaded by young people who believe in fighting for equality, and we want to create a space that’s reflective of this moment,” said Picardi. “We’re excited to showcase the voices and perspectives of people in the community, and prove through our storytelling that, by celebrating them, we’re really celebrating all of us.”
The editorial launch team of them is anchored by Meredith Talusan, who recently won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism, and agender media personality Tyler Ford, who was recently named to Dazed’s 100 visionary talents shaping youth culture in 2016. The Facebook and Instagram handles for them are launched in tandem.
“We’ve been reimagining our titles and creating new ones to more broadly reflect our culture today, and them is a perfect example of how we’re thinking differently about our audiences,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast. “Phil has brilliant insight into how people are engaging with each other through the content they read and watch, and he has once again identified important and influential voices and stories to bring to the forefront.”
them is the first project from Condé Nast’s new incubator, created to develop new brands and businesses for the company’s consumer audience and advertising partners alike. Designed to capture and mobilize the innovation, future leaders and new thinking across Condé Nast’s portfolio, the incubator takes projects from conception to launch, engaging next gen leadership from every brand and business at the company in the process.
“them is all about the future of culture and speaks to the heart of the most influential demographic – Gen Z,” said Pamela Drucker Mann, chief revenue and marketing officer of Condé Nast. “This is the perfect example of why we created the incubator at Condé Nast – to identify, support and bring to life the incisive and insightful ideas that come from our incredibly talented teams every day.”
Inspired by the influence Gen Z is already exerting on our culture (as evidenced by Picardi’s work at Teen Vogue, with its record-breaking digital growth among young influential audiences), them takes an audience-first approach to covering the world around us. 60% of Gen Z consumers support brands that take a stand on issues they believe in personally, and more than half of Gen Z identifies as queer, making equality a high priority for the population. In just three years, Gen Z will represent 40% of all U.S. consumers and currently wields more than $44 billion in spending power.
The Condé Nast incubator looks to the future, identifying, nurturing and developing emerging talent and business models in the company. The incubator focuses on brand development, new uses for the company’s extensive data and insights, innovative content distribution strategies and pilot partnerships.