Life In The Editor Lane : Emil Wilbekin

I've decided to launch my "HERO" stories in which I choose a known or unknown successor before me to shine the spotlight on-in which they have well deserved. My "HERO" stories started with Andre Leon Talley and now I introduce you to Emil Wilbekin. I think it's important for my generation to know that it is indeed possible-these people stayed on their grind and most importantly they look like me-I marvel at the success.

Emil Wilbekin's career began with the start-up test issue of Vibe Magazine in 1992 and over the next twelve years, he rose to the top spot as Editor-In-Chief. As the Editorial Director/Vice President of Brand Development at Vibe Ventures Emil oversaw the building of the Vibe franchise through online components, film, TV, DVD, music festivals, books, and other non-traditional possibilities. Emil served as Editor-in-Chief of VIBE for four years where he grew the circulation from 725,000 to 825,000, garnered a National Magazine Award beating out The New Yorker, Wired, Jane, and Gourmet, and celebrated the publication's 10th Anniversary with a Collector's Edition Box Set and Executive Produced The First Annual Vibe Awards.

More recently Emil was Vice President of Brand Development at Marc Ecko "Cut & Sew", where he oversaw the brand strategy including creative direction, marketing, public relations, advertising, and positioning. As Fashion and Brand Guru at Complex, a young men's style guide, Emil consulted on the magazine with the top executives in both editorial and advertising departments. Philanthropy and community outreach were another aspect of his job. Emil served as one of the nexus of "giving back" at Marc Ecko Enterprises working with young people in the US and abroad, inspiring creative thinking, and fundraising for cancer and AIDS initiatives.

Emil has been a cultural commentator on VH-1, MTV, BET, CNN, and the BBC. His writing has appeared in books like Jamel Shabaaz's "The Last Sunday In June," Ben Watts' "Big Up", and "Vibe's Hip Hop Divas." Emil's journalism skills have been read in Teen Vogue, Vibe, Rolling Stone, Essence, The New York Times, Paper, Uptown, Inked, and The Chicago Tribune. He has served as the men's wear reporter for The Associated Press. Emil has received numerous awards and honors from Pratt Institute to Out Magazine, Howard and Hampton Universities, and The Human Rights Campaign. Emil serves on The Board of Directors of Lifebeat and The Black AIDS Institute.

Emil now serves as GIANT Magazine's Editor-in-Chief.-I've been waiting my life; and I stayed on my grind now I made up my mind-it's possible.

What will your story read?-I got LateBoots speaking gospel.

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