Jill Herzig no doubt has a slew of stories from her years in publishing. Herzig started at Cosmopolitan, then moved to Glamour, where she was Executive Editor, and then of became Editor-in-Chief at Redbook in 2010 where she made significant changes to the magazine. She took us through the days of no computers, her female heroes and why good content is about dropping all assumptions…
What would be your ideal food day?
Breakfast would have to be my usual – Peanut Butter and Jelly. It’s what I’ve had for breakfast for the past ten years or more. I only vary things on weekends, and then, even if someone has made a great frittata or French Toast, I still wish I was having a PB & J.
For lunch I’m thinking a ginormous salad, because I love to crunch, and because, for dinner, I’m having oysters, a strip steak (rare or I can’t eat it) and a dry Grey Goose martini, straight up with a twist.
Who were some of your mentors through your years in publishing?
I must have done something right in a past life because I’ve gotten to work for publishing legends, including Helen Gurley Brown, Clay Felker, Ruth Whitney, Cindi Leive and – my current boss – Ellen Levine. Also, Judy Coyne and Judy Daniels. I truly can’t believe my good luck.
How has the publishing industry changed since you started?
Honey, when I started, we didn’t have computers. Absolutely nothing is the same except for the quality that drives publishing people: Curiosity.
How has putting out a publication for women’s shopping changed since you started? What are some of the things you’re doing now that you didn’t have to five years ago?
Fashion has lost much of its elitism, which pleases me immensely and makes the new Redbook possible. We take a big tent approach to style – everyone is welcome and well-served. You no longer have to be rich, thin, young, urban, or anything else to enjoy fashion and use it to express yourself. Between designer collaborations with mass retailers, fast fashion outlets like ZARA and H&M, the style influence of J. Crew and the friendliness of the fashion blogger world, there are endless new entry points for the average woman. Redbook just tries to point the way, curate the best and cheer our readers on.
Where do you draw inspiration from? And how does that translate to what you do at Redbook?
My female friends are my heroes. They’re an eclectic, intelligent, impassioned, global group and everything I talk about with them makes its way into our pages. And then I hear back from our readers, who completely wow me. They work so hard and cope with so much, but the one sentiment I hear from them over and over is gratitude.
If you could make a prediction about where shopping online is headed, what would it be?
I, personally, hate it, but it’ll just get bigger, bigger, and bigger.
What is good content?
Anything that makes you think, and especially anything that makes you question your assumptions and natural leanings.