Grazia art director heads to US Marie Claire

Grazia art director Suzanne Sykes is to leave the Emap glossy to become creative director of the US edition of Marie Claire.

Sykes has been lured Stateside by British-born Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles. Coles caused waves in August last year when, following a ‘hypocritical’interview with US teen star Ashlee Simpson, she banned ‘celebrity fluff’from the magazine.

Readers sent hundreds of letters to Marie Claire outraged by the piece in which Simpson extolled the virtues of natural beauty at the same time it was revealed she had a nose job.

Sykes said of her new editor: ‘She’s a really strong character and is taking the magazine in a different direction than it had been perceived before and I think that has caused waves but that’s a really positive thing. In America, things revolve much more around A list celebrities and it’s a really different marketplace.”

Sykes helped launch Marie Claire in the UK in 1989 but she said celebrity culture had altered the market dramatically since then, to which an art director had to adapt. ‘Marie Claire still has the same criteria but the whole celebrity thing has changed it and any market you’re in has to accommodate that.”

Sykes other major launch was Grazia in 2005, which garnered a string of design awards including Best Designed Launch at the Magazine Design Awards and the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) Designer of the Year.

Sykes will join in September. Emap has yet to appoint a successor.

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