On Oct. 4, 2017, Condé Nast announced the launch of “Them,” a magazine chronicling and celebrating the stories, people and voices within LGBTQIA+ community.
Condé Nast is the American mass media company that is based in the One World Trade Center in New York City and acquires “Vogue,” “W Magazine,” “Glamour,” “Vanity Fair,” “The New Yorker,” “GQ,” “Architectural Digest” along with many more.
Since LGBT content is some of the best-performing at “Teen Vogue,” Condé Nast officials felt that creating a LGBT-focused publication was a step in the right direction.
Renowned editor Phillip Picardi, digital editorial director of “Teen Vogue” and “Allure,” was named the chief content officer of “Them.” “Them” was born from an idea Picardi had been dreaming of for quite some time: launching a queer publication.
At a luncheon with Condé Nast’s Artistic Director Anna Wintour, Wintour asked Picardi the question, “If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?”
Picardi expressed his desire to create a magazine such as “Them,” and a week later, Wintour gave him the green light to begin an extensive pitch to executives at Condé Nast.
“Young people are dominating our culture and they’re going to shape it in a way that we really weren’t expecting, particularly in matters of gender and sexuality,” Picardi told Business of Fashion in a public statement.
Although it has been an admirable step for a dominating media company such as Condé Nast to bring marginalized voices to the forefront of conversation, the name, “Them”, has not sat well with many people.
Much of the concern comes from industry executives who feel like the name of the site was a poor choice.
The issue with the name of the publication comes down to those who think it evokes a theme of “Us vs. Them” or in simple terms, the LGBT community vs. cisgender, straight people.
“Them” is a gender neutral term used in the LGBT community for those who do not identify as either male or female. However, various industry insiders took to Twitter and claimed that using the term “Them” is anything but inclusive.
“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 Wintour in a public statement. The publication will report on news and politics within the LGBT community and fashion and beauty coverage will be genderless.
Partners for the project include Burberry, Google, Lyft and GLAAD. Those who are interested in “Them” can head to Them.us to sign up for notifications, as well as follow the platform on Facebook and Instagram.