Elaine Welteroth Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman
Elaine Marie Welteroth is an American journalist, editor and New York Times best-selling author. In April 2016, Welteroth was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, making her the second person of African-American heritage in Condé Nast’s 107-year history to hold such a title. Her promotion to editor at age 29 makes her the youngest in Condé Nast history to become editor. When she became beauty director of Teen Vogue in 2012, Welteroth was the first person of African-American heritage to serve in the role. She is credited for the notable increase of Teen Vogue coverage of politics and social justice, encouraging readers to become civically engaged, specifically during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Under Welteroth’s leadership of Teen Vogue’s shifting format, the magazine developed its first YouTube channel, featuring content on diverse subjects from campus style to cultural appropriation. The final print edition of Teen Vogue was December 2017.
Welteroth’s first job in her hometown was being a mascot for her local Hometown Buffet, wearing a bird suit. She has described the best career advice she’s ever received as: “Bite off more than you can chew. And then chew as fast as you can”. As a Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) Fellow, Welteroth secured an internship at the advertising, marketing, and public relations firm, Ogilvy & Mather, upon graduation from California State University-Sacramento. She then became a content producer for SomaGirls.TV, a digital media company. Welteroth broke into the magazine industry via an unpaid internship at Ebony magazine. In pursuit of the internship, she wrote Harriette Cole, then editor in chief, a letter asking for an informational interview, sent her an email, and called her assistant numerous times. Harriette gave Elaine the chance to assist with a cover shoot for Serena Williams in Los Angeles. Impressed with Welteroth’s professionalism on set, Cole decided to fly her out for an internship with Cole at Ebony; she then later became Cole’s assistant. This next became a permanent position as the magazine’s Beauty & Style Editor from 2008 to 2011.
Elaine joined Condé Nast in September 2011 by becoming the Beauty & Style editor for Glamour magazine in 2011, and then Senior Beauty Editor. She became the Beauty & Health Director at Teen Vogue in October 2012. In the February 2013 copy of Teen Vogue, her debut issue as Beauty & Health Director, she penned the article “Natural Wonder”, where Welteroth encouraged readers to embrace their natural hair texture while also sharing her favorite natural hair products. Welteroth was named editor of Teen Vogue in May 2016. On September 8, 2016, Welteroth was honored at the 2016 Fashion Show & Style Awards through Harlem’s Fashion Row, a platform for multicultural fashion designers, as Editor of the Year. In 2016, Ms. Welteroth was named number 47 on The Root’s list of 100 influential African-Americans. Condé Naste officially named Welteroth editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue on April 29, 2017. In 2017, Girls Write Now, a non-profit mentorship program based in New York City which encourages at-risk girls to find their voices through writing, named her an honoree for their May 23 annual awards ceremony.
On January 11, 2018, Elaine resigned from Teen Vogue and moved to California and signed with CAA. In June 2019 her memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming space for who you are (no matter what they say), was published by Viking.
Thank you Elaine Welteroth (#elainewelteroth) for being an Inspiring Woman!
A passion dear to my heart is supporting and uplifting women. When women support each other, incredible things happen. Sweetrocks will carry that mission by highlighting women weekly in hopes of education, support and inspiration of women.