Margaret Zhang is the new editor-in-chief of Vogue China. And she made history as the youngest editor-in-chief Vogue has ever had at 27 years old.
The 27-year-old started out in the fashion industry at 16 years old. She started her blog Shine by Three. Already this made her stand out in Australia, a predominantly white country, which in turn is dominated by white bloggers.
Margaret filled a gap for the few that looked like her. Along with the fascination her Asian ethnicity held for those who were not. Ultimately, this led to her becoming one of Australia’s biggest bloggers.
She has also worked as a creative director, photographer, stylist, sometimes models. Currently, she is working on a film called Number 65 about Chinese mother-daughter dynamics.
While also being the co-founder of Background, a global consultancy company that has worked with companies from Airbnb to YouTube and a few fashion brands, such as Mulberry.
Her company focuses on connecting Chinese and western cultures. Someone like Margaret, who has spent a lot of time growing up in the west as a Chinese woman, would understand where the two cultures intersect or differ.
On Instagram, Margaret has over 1 million followers, a symbol of the generation she is both a part of and hoping to turn into readers of Vogue China. Her appointment is part of the plan to lead the magazine into the future. Her massive digital footprint and expertise is one factor that made her perfect for the position.
Magazines such as Vogue have found themselves at a crossroads between going digital, while staying in touch with their older readers who prefer print.
The passion for fashion came into Margaret’s life through dance, specifically ballet. Her introduction to Vogue was in grade seven, when she used her gift cards, she received for her academic achievement awards and went to buy Vogues issues at a Borders bookstore. Vogue China was introduced to her in 2005, the issue with Nicole Kidman on the cover.
But in 2016, she produced two digital covers for the launch issue of Vogue Me China, appearing on both covers.
With her role as the new editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Margaret wants to use this opportunity to show the different dimensions that China has. She wants the country to be seen for the individuals and innovation that it offers.
She also plans on focusing on uplifting local talent in China—in the film, music, and the fine arts industries, besides fashion, of course—and bringing it to a global stage. She is doing this knowing Vogue is a recognizable brand and so trusted, and will help these industries and businesses that get featured.
Most importantly, Margaret realized that this opportunity is not just for her, but for women and girls who see themselves in her as an Asian EIC. Growing up, she struggled to find role models in the fashion industry, so she understands the responsibility and impact the role holds.
She plans to run Vogue China, specifically by focusing on sustainability and diversity and inclusion.
“I’ve always wanted to supply mentorship to other people where I can, and not to say that I have all the answers. I think it’s really important to have people tell it to you like it is, and for them to feel enabled in their personal goals, but also to feel comfortable challenging me and kind of tugging at the edge of my worldview.”