Day in the life: What InStyle’s editorial director Ariel Foxman does

This is a story from Glossy, Digiday Media’s new publication devoted to how technology is changing the fashion and luxury industries.

If you want to know what a woman wants, ask Ariel Foxman.

InStyle’s editorial director oversees the 22-year-old fashion and beauty magazine as well as its family of websites, the InStyle Collection, featuring The Outfit, xoJane, xoVain and beauty website Mimi.

But the divide between juggling his print responsibilities and digital duties isn’t complicated, Foxman told Digiday. “Nothing that we’ve approached is specifically for one [platform] any more because with any piece of content we’re creating, the result yields so many elements.”

He said that the biggest misconception about InStyle is that it isn’t as digitally savvy as its competitors. However, he counters that InStyle, where he’s been since 2008, is “more robust in video and digital than we are in print,” adding that the magazine has one integrated staff focusing on both rather than maintaining separate teams.

Foxman said that with 45 percent of InStyle’s traffic coming through social media, with presences on Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest, the challenge is maintaining a consistent voice across all of them.

Traffic for InStyle has grown more than 150 percent over the past two years, from 2.5 million unique visitors in March 2014 to 5.6 million this past March, according to comScore. Foxman plans to funnel that momentum into new verticals this year, including travel, weddings and food.

In addition to increasing traffic, Foxman plans to juice its heavy September issue even further this year by selling products featured in the magazine on its website for the first time ever as well as expanding its events and awards.

“We’re always looking for the opportunity to grow satellites around the content,” he said.

Here’s what Foxman did last Thursday, slightly edited for clarity:

6:30 a.m.: I wake up and head to the gym downstairs. I did 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical while listening to one of my favorite Apple Music R&B stations/hit lists.

8:00 a.m.: I run upstairs and quickly got dressed to head to the Time Inc. NewFronts event at Gotham Hall.

8:45 a.m.: I catch up with a few old InStyle colleagues in line that are now at different Time Inc. titles. I made a Snapchat story (@afoxman) to get pumped up for the event, I was really looking forward since InStyle debuted a new video “New Mom, New Style.”

Kahlana Barfield, InStyle’s fashion and beauty editor-at-large, will host different celebs talking about their experiences as new mommies. After the event was over, I spend 20 minutes talking to our special projects director Faye Penn outside of Gotham Hall. We’re pretty excited about the launch and push of virtual reality. We threw some ideas around to possibly pilot and talked about how to broaden and energize our VR content.

InStyle's current issue, Foxman interviewed Roberts.
InStyle’s current issue, Foxman interviewed Roberts.

11:00 a.m.: I head home to answer work emails before my business lunch downtown. Our office moved down to Battery Park last fall so I’m not always able to pop downtown in between meetings.

Noon: Head to The Mercer Hotel in SoHo for a business lunch with Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy. We talked over coffee and recapped his busy week! In the last week, he dressed Michelle Obama for her final White House Correspondents Dinner. Simply dressing her was an honor, but also that she chose to wear a non-American designer was pretty significant.

Then we talk about the Time 100 event (who was at his table, what he saw, etc.). And of course, The Met Gala where he took Madonna and Beyoncé as his dates. We also talk about the future of InStyle fashion.

1:30 p.m.: After Riccardo leaves, I stay at the hotel to chat with Youssef Marquis, Givenchy’s head of press relations, a bit more about the direction of InStyle fashion since our redesign with the March issue and the upcoming Givenchy campaign.

2:30 p.m.: I arrive back to the office to catch up on all the work emails from the day. There are always different events and initiatives in development that fall under the InStyle umbrella and I usually try and take afternoons to get answer emails and meet with editors, our publisher and events teams to make sure everything is moving forward.

3:45 p.m.: Call Gabriel Kreuther, a restaurant with beautiful views overlooking Bryant Park, to hear final details about their Mother’s Day menu. My whole family will be dining there for brunch on Sunday and I wanted to make sure we were all set to celebrate this special holiday.

Foxman at InStyle Awards with Rachel Zoe and Kim Kardashian. (Photo by Kevin Tachman)
Foxman at InStyle Awards with Rachel Zoe and Kim Kardashian. (Photo by Kevin Tachman)

4:00 p.m.: Every day I meet with our senior editors to go over layouts for the current issue we’re putting together. We collaborate and decide which images from our feature shoots will ultimately appear in the magazine, font placements and all details in between.

5:30 p.m: My weekly call with our events and special Projects contact at InStyle’s Los Angeles office, which takes the theoretical ideas and puts them into action. We’re already working on the next InStyle Awards (we did the first awards ceremony this past October at the Getty Center in L.A.) and a few other things, stay tuned for some exciting things from InStyle this summer!

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