The June issue of Elle features Kerry Washington, from the sex-and-sex-scandal-drenched ABC series Scandal, in which she plays a former campaign and White House aide who the president cannot get enough of, and the reflex is mutual. Elle‘s cover and inside photo layout play up Washington’s sex appeal, with non-existent necklines and shorts that make Daisy Duke look modest.
On the cover of the June/July first issue of Verily, a beautiful young woman in a frilly, flowered skirt walks on a Hoboken dock overlooking Manhattan, appearing healthy and happy — she could be anyone. Verily plays up everyday beauty, everywhere.
Verily even redeems Jersey from Shore jaw-breaker pop candy.
Janet Sahm, style editor at Verily, briefly worked at Elle.
Q: How was Elle an awakening for you?
A: My time at Elle was a short-lived, yet eye-opening experience of the fashion magazine industry. The old saying “nothing is ever as it seems” really came to life. The ‘glamorous’ fashion magazine industry is tough, full of pressure, and often tends to perpetuate a cycle of negativity that lands on the interns — me being among them, at the time. There were definitely The Devil Wears Prada moments (picture running around Manhattan in a panic over moleskin notebooks while lugging a box of wigs in one hand).
After a year of interning with them, I looked around me and thought What is the point?
To me, fashion for fashion’s sake is quite tired. I went through a huge re-conversion in my life and came to the realization fashion and style really has the power to communicate a person’s sense of worth and identity — for better or worse. I wanted to help build a language and accessibility around fashion that would be for the better. My time at Elle was important because I realized I wanted to create something completely new, out of the box, and on strong principles that recognizes the inherent dignity in women and in turn, help women to enjoy fashion and to dress in a way that complements, rather than compromises their dignity.
A: Verily has never been about money. Of course we need funds and subscribers to keep the content going, but both [Kara Eschback, Verily’s co-founder, editor-in-chief, and publisher] and I knew going into the print publishing business wasn’t the most lucrative life choice, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s incredibly surreal to imagine friends, family, and complete strangers subscribing to something we’ve collectively, as a team, poured our hearts and minds into, not for our own gratification, but for the sake of other women. Verily is about tilling the soil of women’s hearts, to be a voice out there that says, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Q: How is this a response to your Christian call and Gospel mandates? It doesn’t quite scream go out and sell all your belongings, surrender, and follow — on the cover!
A: We can’t all literally sell our belongings and live among the poor as the Gospel calls. We can, however, choose to surrender our lives, our work, our self-inflated egotism, and strive to love, serve, and carry our crosses after Christ in everything we do.
Verily strives to serve the poor — the poor in spirit. Women are hungry for something more when it comes to magazines and tired of feeling that they are not enough.
We are called to be in the world, and not of it. Verily speaks to those in the world, women who want to develop personal style, to better their relationships, and to feed their intellectual curiosity.
Read more about Verily in my interview with Ashley Crouch on National Review Online; she is relationships editor at Verily.