It was a crisp Sunday morning, shortly after I started my job at Byrdie last year, that I sat at a Starbucks sorting out a one-year plan. It was loose—I knew enough to know that I didn’t know everything—but I clearly saw a digital issue with an inspiring cover star on the horizon. Coming from two decades of magazines (one of which was spent at Cosmopolitan, known for its iconic covers), I knew the magic of losing yourself in something that a staff poured its passion into for weeks...dynamic imagery, emotional essays, action-inspiring articles. And that’s exactly what Changemakers, the first edition of our new digital magazine, brings. You may know our cover star, Taylor Russell, from her breakthrough performance in Waves or role as Judy Robinson in Netflix’s hit reboot of Lost in Space. (Dynamic imagery…check!) Or her glam squad—makeup artist Kate Lee and hairstylist Johnnie Sapong—the stars of our “second cover,” which we call The B-Side (our take on the flip-side of a vinyl single). And in true Byrdie fashion, there are essays that’ll speak to you, stories that’ll move you (we’ve got Meena Harris, people!), and much more. So get comfy, lose yourself a little, and, if you like, drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell us what you want to see the second time around. We’re already passionately planning it!
LEAH WYAR, Editor-in-Chief and VP/GM
When we were brainstorming the theme for Byrdie’s first-ever digital issue, one word kept coming up: change. 2020 has been a year of change, to put it lightly. We’ve changed the way we work, the way we communicate (Zoom fatigue is real), and the way we exist and take up space in the world. Personally, 2020 has been a year for me to take a magnifying glass to my own life and examine the corners usually left unturned; to acknowledge and unlearn my own unconscious biases, and to find new coping mechanisms when the future feels bleak (long, slow breaths and a scoop of honeycomb ice cream helps). For Byrdie’s debut digital issue, we’re digging deep into the concept of change and the discomfort, pain, clarity, and growth it brings with it. Scroll through and meet the 20 Changemakers you should be following (including our inspiring cover star, Taylor Russell); read honest stories about what it’s like to live alone and break up during this time of social distancing; and remind yourself why wearing a mask is the easiest form of activism you can, and should, partake in. And of course, there’s plenty of beauty inspiration inside, from fall trends to try (even if you have nowhere to go) to Team Byrdie’s product saviors as we herald in the season of peak coziness. We hope this issue brings you joy and comfort—or, at the very least, reminds you that the most powerful thing about change is that we have the power to spur it.
FAITH XUE, Editorial Director