Sian Rees has been appointed the new editor of She magazine, charged with making the Natmags monthly work as "a visually gorgeous read".
Rees started as a stylist and is currently editor-in-chief for new projects at Burda, the UK branch of the German media group.
She had been launch editor of the company's second launch in Britain, Living & Gardens, and fortnightly women's title, Real. Rees has also written for The Sunday Times's Style section, Ideal Home, Top Santé and Woman magazine as a freelance, but her visual background is what Natmags editorial director Lindsay Nicholson said made Rees the right person for the role.
"She is a gorgeous visual magazine, it really needed a editor with that visual background," said Nicholson. "Most editors tend to come up the features editor route, but what stood out about Sian is that she can art direct a shoot as well as produce great words for it."
Nicholson has been overseeing the magazine until a new editor was appointed to take over from Matthew Line, who left in April, six months after its relaunch. Nicholson said of changes to the content: "We're finessing the title and making it a bit more feminine.
Sian most perfectly matched our vision for the magazine. The key thing is that it's absolutely visually stunning and I really think we're there now, and Sian, with her background, will be able to take it further."
Charlotte Ross, deputy editor at the title, will move to the Evening Standard once Rees is settled into her new role, which she starts on 7 August.
Previously editor of the Saturday edition of The Independent, a Natmags spokeswoman said Ross was returning to newspapers because of "a very big job she couldn't refuse", but declined to give any more details.
Rees's appointment comes at a crucial time for the 50-year-old She, which has had a history of refits and makeovers. The last revamp, in October last year, initially showed a 5.7 per cent sales increase in the July to December 2005 period, although it recorded a 13.5 per cent sales decrease year on year due to the steep fall in its sales pre-relaunch. The title, which is a blend of home life, style and advice for the over 35s, has a current circulation of 156,674.
The departure of Line so soon after launch raised questions about Natmags' confidence in the product, but a source on the magazine told Press Gazette that the new appointment had reassured staff of its commitment to the title and added that Rees's appointment was seen as a steadying move.
"The company wanted to be able to say that they had got someone who had experience in relaunching magazines and tidying them up and to be able to go and tell our advertisers that."
Rees said: "She is an extremely strong brand and following the recent relaunch, has a unique and modern editorial concept which I look forward to taking on to the next stage."