Goop has a new creative director.
The multihyphenate company has brought in Devin Pedzwater, WWD has learned, who is technically replacing founder and chief executive officer Gwyneth Paltrow in the role, as she acted for the last several years as the de facto creative lead. However, this is the first formalization of the position at Goop and Pedzwater will oversee the company’s entire visual and brand identity from content and video, to experiential efforts and overall packaging.
For the last 20 years, Pedzwater has worked with many high-profile magazines, starting as a designer with Condé Nast Traveler. He then went on to work in creative roles at Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and spent several years at Spin, where he was creative director until 2012. He then returned to Condé to become creative director of Vanity Fair Italia and this year moved to international editor at large at the title and became creative director of boutique creative agency Kovert Creative in Los Angeles.
With all of this experience in legacy media, some during the late heyday of the medium, it seems Pedzwater is looking to focus on Goop’s ability to connect with a passionate audience.
“Even though it’s only a decade old, Goop’s creative identity is akin to a legacy brand: it’s visceral, aspirational and elegant,” Pedzwater wrote in a statement. “I’m excited to help protect and build upon that as we enter the next phase of the business.”
Overall, Goop has had a pretty big year. It’s dug into permanent retail and expanded its pop-ups here and abroad for the first time, worked to grow its own brand of apparel, beauty, wellness and home products, taken control of its quarterly magazine from Condé Nast and learned what you can and can’t say about products you’re selling online. It also received $50 million in Series C funding and is said to have a show of some kind in the works with Netflix. But none of this has quelled the Internet’s appetite for derision of Goop (and often Paltrow) for the apparently potent commercial combination of wellness and luxury.
Revenue doubled this past year, and the next is poised to see Goop continue to grow. It’s expecting to add to its already 200-plus staff with new roles in product and technology. With more product coming (new Goop brand products, the company’s fastest growing source of revenue, are in the pipeline) from more places (Goop is now in Canada and London, where it’s holding its next summit event, and other locales are likely on the way), its entirely possible that kind of growth could continue into the next year, even though generally speaking, growth is not something to expect forever.
Something else that shouldn’t be expected forever is Paltrow continuing to be so many executives in one as well as the sole face of the brand. It seems lately she’s using herself to get things off the ground, like the podcast, which she hosts less frequently; the fashion line, which she’s modeled relatively little of over the last year; the magazine, which now has its own editor in chief in Danielle Pergament, and even one of the three covers this year featured Liya Kebede instead of Paltrow — a first.
It seems that bringing on a creative director, really for the first time, is part of an ongoing effort to create at least a sliver of separation between Paltrow the celebrity and Goop the brand. While Goop has slowly built a cadre of executives in recent years, the most out in front of which is chief content officer Elise Lohnen, getting specific leads for, at least, all of the major corners of a company is generally necessary for continued growth of any company. How often do ceo’s also act as company model, podcast/store opening/event host and creative director? Not everyone can be Oprah.