Phillip Picardi grew up in an Italian American Catholic family in Boston. Picardi started his publishing career as an intern at Teen Vogue. In March 2017, his role at Condé Nast expanded to become as digital editorial director for Allure as well as Teen Vogue.
Picardi experience includes online beauty editing at Teen Vogue before becoming senior beauty editor at Refinery29. He also worked for Mikki Halpin whose influence as well as Picardi's personal experiences led to a growing interest in political engagement alongside his work on beauty; speaking to The Guardian, he said his experience growing up gay in a Catholic family meant, "I can certainly relate to what it feels like to be underrepresented or even marginalised. I took sex ed classes and there was no mention of homosexuality. Or I would sit in religion class and be told my life was a sin."
In September 2014 Anna Wintour, the empress of fashion and Condé Nast’s artistic director, has signaled her approval of Mr. Picardi in ways big and small, and in a phone interview she described him to New York times as “marvelous.”
Pircardi returned to Teen Vogue in 2015 and the next year become part of the magazine's leadership with editor Elaine Welteroth, creative director Marie Suter and Picardi replaced departing founding editor-in-chief Amy Astley.
Today Picardi oversees web content and social media for Teen Vogue, significantly increasing traffic to its website. In January 2017, the magazine's website had 7.9 million US visitors compared with 2.9 million the previous January. He has also been part of the magazine's shift in focus on social issues and politics, part of his pitch when he joined the magazine. He told the hiring team at Teen Vogue that he felt the magazine's success depended on offering more to its reader: "I thought it was really important to talk about reproductive rights, gender. To dig into politics and the news cycle. Basically, by omission, we were kind of assuming that she's not interested."
With the growth the site has seen through this approach, Fast Company named Picardi to its "Most Creative People" in 2017, "for reading teenagers' minds" in his work to "align TeenVogue.com with every aspect of its socially conscious readers' lives": the politics section has now surpassed entertainment as the site's most-read section. Under Picardi, TeenVogue.com also won 2017 Webby Awards for both the Fashion & Beauty and the Education & Discovery categories.
In March 2017, his role at Condé Nast expanded to become as digital editorial director for Allure as well as Teen Vogue. Under Picardi's leadership, Allure has also seen a significant rise in web traffic: April 2017 had a 53% increase over the prior year (6.9 million over 4.5 million in April 2016).