Like a Boss: Samantha Barry’s Work Diary: ‘Fashion Can and Should Reflect the World Around Us’

On her first day as editor in chief of Glamour, Samantha Barry was asked to select clothes to feature on the cover of a coming issue of the 79-year-old magazine. That was nearly a year ago, in January, and Ms. Barry, an exuberant Irishwoman who had suddenly been elevated to one of the most powerful perches in publishing, was in unfamiliar territory.

“I had to wing it,” said Ms. Barry, 37. She was no fashionista. Before the Condé Nast artistic director and Vogue editor Anna Wintour brought her in to run Glamour, Ms. Barry’s most senior role had been running social media for CNN.

Soon enough, though, she put her own sensible stamp on the fashion featured in Glamour. “We are size-inclusive, we are diverse and we are conscious not only of what is fashionable, but what fashion stands for,” she said.

But Ms. Barry, who was recruited for her digital chops, had bigger changes in mind. Last month, Glamour announced it would cease publishing a regular print magazine and essentially become an online publication with occasional print specials. And a week later, facing unrelenting difficulties in the magazine business, Condé Nast’s chief executive, Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., said he was stepping down.

Through all this tumult, Ms. Barry has sent reporters to gun shows to write about women and firearms, and to Cape Town to examine how women there are maintaining their beauty regimens during a severe drought. On the fashion front, she requested that all the clothes she reviewed had price tags on. And in May, all the items featured in the

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