Teen Vogue’s evolution from high-fashion magazine to a community of activism

Once thought of as a glossy fashion bible geared toward brand-conscious girls, Teen Vogue is evolving.

“When Teen Vogue started out, Teen Vogue was an aspirational fashion magazine for fashion lovers. You know it was the little sister to Vogue. And over the years we’ve realized that our mission was really to become more focused on making this an inclusive community, that speaks to every kind of young person,” Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s 31-year-old editor-in-chief, told ABC News’ “Nightline.”

The digital magazine, now primarily online, is filling more of its page with stories that appeal to its socially conscious audiences on topics including: immigration, race, wellness and politics.

“[President Donald] Trump gets too much credit for Teen Vogue’s evolution. Teen Vogue has been changing the narrative and pushing the envelope and covering news and politics and social justice issues for the I’d say the last year and a half to two years,” Welteroth said.

Watch the full “Nightline” piece tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET

Most recently, Teen Vogue weighed in on the #MeToo movement, with actress Ashley Judd making a video about her personal experience on standing up to sexual harassment and giving advice to young girls for the publication in October 2017.

Judd is now one of more than 300 women in Hollywood leading the #TimesUp initiative to fight sexual harassment and gender disparity. The initiative has raised over $14 million for working-class women to seek justice.

Teen Vogue’s shift to social activism is paying off. The brand has seen huge growth, garnering 10 million monthly page views and 12 million social followers.

And along with digital editorial director Phillip Picardi, Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s youngest and first black editor-in-chief in its history, is getting some credit for their success.

“It has become this community of civic-minded, really socially conscious politically active curious ambitious young people who crave the truth who aren’t afraid to speak truth,” Welteroth said. “I think we speak to a certain mindset and it’s about you know inspiring people who are progressive thinkers who want to see change. And so that could mean a 59-year-old white man. It could mean Dan Rather, who retweets us all the time.”

Teen Vogue is, of course, still a fashion magazine. And Welteroth has become an influencer of sorts on her own. She sits in the front rows of New York’s fashion shows and has her own following…

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