Nov 01, 2019
“When we started to think about who to honour as our Women of the Year, we realized that these women are not just promoting one issue or one conversation, they are using their voices and platforms to have a lasting impact for generations to come,” says Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine on this year’s Women of the Year issue. Barry has been editor since 2018 but admits that the process of mining through so many inspiring figures is, “a year long undertaking.” This year’s group includes director Ava DuVernay, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, and US women’s national soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe. “These exceptional women are having the tough conversations that open doors and forge new paths on issues ranging from equal pay to climate change, and they’re inspiring cross-generational people globally.”
But how does Barry and her team comb through so many uplifting profiles? “The staff is made up of so many diverse minds, with many varying interests,” says Barry. “The team has been flagging inspiration women from the moment last year’s issue closed.” And so Barry’s group puts Oscar winners—Charlize Theron—alongside modern literary icons—Margaret Atwood. “[Her works] are more relevant now than ever,” says Barry of Atwood’s writings, while some more unfamiliar names (the women behind RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) are given a platform for, “the exhaustive humanitarian work at the US-Mexico border.” For Barry, it all comes together this November at the Women of the Year summit in New York. “Amazing women lead panels and hands-on demonstrations live out what it means to be a woman of the year,” says Barry.
Below, we asked Barry to break down everything from the soundtrack to her life to her style spirit animal—hint, it’s a major 1980s style icon.
What time do you wake up and what is the first thing you do?
Usually around 6am, a little earlier if I’m trying to squeeze in a workout.
Coffee, tea, or juice?
Extra hot coffee. I’ve never liked tea- which is almost sacrilegious for an Irish person to publicly admit.
What are your essential daily reads —> print or digital?
I start my day with audio (my first journalism job was in radio). I kick off the morning with the The Daily podcast. Then, as I’m scrolling Glamour.com I also watch the morning shows flicking between CBS and the Today show. I’m constantly reading digital sites during the day and tend to lean into print at the weekend: magazines from Conde Nast, and I get the New York Times delivered on Saturdays and Sundays.
What is the first app you check?
WhatsApp- I’ve lots of family and friends in Europe and by the time I wake up in NYC there’s dozens of messages in my WhatsApp groups.
What is the last purchase that you’re still obsessed with?
Black Prada Chelsea boots.
What is on your shopping wish list?
A statement feminine three piece suit.
What’s the soundtrack to your look right now?
Autumn in New York by Billie Holiday.
If you were not in your current role, what would your profession be?
Morning TV anchor or back up dancer for Beyoncé.
Who / what is your style spirit animal?
Do you have a Sunday night ritual? If so, what is it?
A curry, a face mask and catching up on HBO's Succession.