Becoming the editor-in-chief of a magazine known as “the bible for fun, fearless females” is a major undertaking, especially when said bible has over 17 million monthly readers. But the witty Michele Promaulayko, the recently appointed editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan (and the new editorial director of Seventeen), knows the recipe for success.
“Cosmo women possess the ability to surprise and think outside the box,” Michele says. And for a magazine that’s been around since 1886, those are two very important skills to have.
Over the years, Cosmo has stayed relevant by consistently reinventing and redefining who the Cosmo woman is. As the new face of the magazine, Michele brings a bold spirit, an unwavering sense of style, expertise in the field of women’s health and some serious tech savvy to the iconic brand. But it’s essential that every leader has a place to do their leading, and Michele needed an office that would embody Cosmo’s mission to engage, inspire and represent young women around the world.
Not only did Michele make a fast transition from her role as editor-in-chief at Yahoo Health, but she also immediately began filming a new docuseries for “E!” called So Cosmo, which required that her office visually represent the brand.
“I needed an office designed quickly and well, so Laurel & Wolf was the obvious go-to source for that,” she says. But it wasn’t all about speedy service. “I have a lot of opinions about design so I was also looking for a collaborative partner to work with. Found!”
The resulting space balances the dream of the high-powered magazine world with the realities of her day-to-day work. Sunshine bounces off the surrounding Manhattan skyscrapers, flooding the room with light. Inside, distinctively glam furnishings and décor from Z Gallerie echo the magazine’s strong yet playful feminine aesthetic.
“The Cosmo woman is definitely drawn to fun and adventure and this office has an irreverent vibe that reflects that,” Michele remarks. “It’s filled with unexpected elements for an office.” For example, her desk—a large glass-topped piece with sunburst gold table legs—is actually a dining table.
The entire room is contemporary and chic with an edge. Brass and metallic accents, from a gold-glazed skull paperweight to a Hollywood Regency-style bar cart, are unapologetically glam. A pair of faux Mongolian fur chairs—one of Michele’s favorite elements of the design—provide seating at her desk for meetings with staff members or visiting celebs like Ciara and Fergie. “They’re great conversation starters!” she says.
“It’s also a sanctuary for me,” Michele says. No matter how chaotic a day might be (and you can bet she has plenty as the editor-in-chief!), Michele can always find refuge in her office. “It feels like my home away from home,” she says.
Though the office is every bit as glamorous as Cosmo’s aesthetic, it’s also a functional space that serves as a backdrop for everything from filming or writing to holding meetings with influencers and stars. It’s a room that can change functions depending on the task at hand. In actuality, it’s not unlike Cosmo, which has evolved over more than a century from a glossy magazine to a multimedia, multi-platform content powerhouse.
Photos by Tory Williams for Laurel & Wolf