Hearst Magazines today announced that Aya Kanai has been appointed editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Marie Claire, a joint venture between Hearst Magazines and Marie Claire Album. Kanai, who joined Hearst Magazines in 2013, succeeds Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief since 2012, who is stepping down at the end of the year to launch an entrepreneurial venture focused on women’s health. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Magazines President Troy Young. Kanai will report to Hearst Magazines Chief Content Officer Kate Lewis and begins her new role January 13, 2020. 

Kanai has been Hearst Magazines chief fashion director since 2016, overseeing the fashion content for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day. Additionally, she handles fashion styling for HearstMade and supports special projects for Hearst Magazines’ digital sites including HarpersBAZAAR.com, TownandCountryMag.com, OprahMag.com and Esquire.com. She joined Hearst Magazines as fashion director at Cosmopolitan in 2013. 

Kanai started her career as a fashion assistant and then accessories editor at Teen Vogue. From 2004 to 2007, she was fashion director of Nylon and returned to Teen Vogue in 2008 as the senior fashion editor. In 2009, she served as the magazine’s West Coast contributing fashion editor and worked independently as a fashion stylist and creative consultant for clients including Cole Haan, Bloomingdales and Target. She became the style director for Amazon’s Shopbop in 2012. Kanai appeared as one of three judges on the Lifetime reality television series Project Runway Junior. 

“Aya is a superstar editor, strategist and stylist and an incredibly positive and enthusiastic person,” Young said. “She’s been an editorial leader at Hearst Magazines for over six years, and she has a wonderful eye, both for content and for talent. As with everything she does, Aya’s taking on this new role with energy and excitement and will inspire everyone around her.” 

“With 29 international editions, Marie Claire has been about global female empowerment since 1937,” Kanai said. “I’m excited to lead a brand with so many sisters around the world. The Marie Claire woman is confident and clear-thinking, whether it is about her career, the makeup and skincare she uses, the clothes she wears or the technology that powers everything she does. With a growing experiential business, this is a 360-degree brand that speaks to enterprising women on the rise.” 

“I’ve loved every minute of my time at Marie Claire and I’m so proud of all we have accomplished,” Fulenwider said. “It’s no secret that my favorite thing we’ve built has been the Power Trip. Building community around the start-up generation—brilliant entrepreneurial women disrupting and inventing new industries—has been beyond inspiring. Their energy and sense of possibility is infectious, which is why I am off to start my own venture. It’s been fantastic supporting women from the outside in, and now, I’m looking forward to supporting them from the inside out. I’ve had an amazing 25 years in media business and I’m very excited for all that this next chapter will bring.” 

“We thank Anne for her incredible leadership at Marie Claire over the past seven years,” Young said. “She embodies what the Marie Claire brand stands for—boldness, integrity, style, mindfulness—and she brought all that and more to life in every issue through a host of new ideas and initiatives. That boldness is evident as she makes the leap into the entrepreneurial life. We wish her the very best and look forward to watching her company grow.” 

During her time at Marie Claire, Fulenwider was named Editor of the Year by FOLIO and MIN and garnered multiple ASME nominations, including General Excellence in 2017 and Cover of the Year in 2018. In 2017, she was awarded Hearst’s Innovation of the Year Award for the Power Trip, a signature event that The New York Times wrote, “has developed an outsize reputation among businesswomen … because its disrupters-on-a-plane premise seems to actually work.”