From the Red Schoolhouse to the Red Carpet

By Lily Grenis
May 2016

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Estabrook at a dinner party hosted by Vanity Fair in Beverly Hills to celebrate the Oscars. She is wearing Zuhair Murad. (Photo courtesy of Estabrook)

Alum Résumé

Amber Estabrook, 41 (Class of ‘93)

College: Bucknell University, 1997. Spanish and Geography majors, minor in Creative Writing.

Job: Associate Publisher Luxury, Vanity Fair
Family: Husband Simone Poggi; three children
Career: Estabrook began her career in publishing with W magazine. She met Poggi while working in Milan for “W.” The couple moved back to New York, where Estabrook eventually became Executive Director of International Fashion at Vogue, traveling often to Milan, London, Paris and Germany. Estabrook then moved to Vanity Fair. Festivals, dinner parties and even private performances from celebrities like Gwen Stefani come with the job description.

Q: What are your responsibilities as associate publisher of Vanity Fair?

A: I oversee the luxury category. My specialty is managing the relationships with the large European investors that we have, the large European fashion luxury companies that invest money to advertise in Vanity Fair, in our brand.

Q: What is the hardest part about your job?

A: The hardest part is that you always have to do more. In sales, the goal is a number that is always growing. You’re only as good as your last number, so you’re constantly trying to do more.

Q: To what do you attribute your success?

A: I think grit. I’ve been working since I was 14, from bagging groceries at a supermarket [to working] as a hostess at the Dinosaur BBQ. I always had numerous jobs throughout the summer, and I grew up working. I’m exceptionally competitive and I love to win, and so sales is the right profession because it’s a competitive field. You’re constantly being charged with doing better than you did before, and winning. That’s a personality requirement I guess. So work ethic, being competitive, wanting to win, and loving what you do. You have to really like what you do.

Q: What are you most proud of?

A: Having a wonderful family coupled with a fun and successful career that is stimulating and rewarding.

Q: What did you want to be when you were in high school?

A: I thought a lot about either international law or environmental law.

Q: Have you seen yourself change a lot since then?

A: A little bit. I think the international part is still very much there. I was a big champion of environmental rights and that sort of thing, but I kind of grew away from that, and the international aspect of it all stayed with me. When I got to college, I went to Spain on my semester abroad, and that was my first trip to Europe, and that’s really what planted the seed. I knew I wanted to go back. I just loved living in Europe, I loved living in Spain, I loved the Mediterranean culture.

Q: How did MPH contribute to your success?

A: I had a wonderful experience at MPH. There was a lot of individual attention that you received because the class sizes were very small. Some of my best memories are really in the Lower School, kindergarten through fifth grade. Those were really formative, fundamental years there. Great teachers and a real sense of community and family. And as a matter of fact, my two best friends today … I met in kindergarten at MPH. We are still very close today.

Q: What advice do you have for MPH students?

A: Be gritty. Stick through even the hardest times. Don’t give up too easily. Hard work does pay off. You can create your own luck and opportunity. Always create short- and long-term goals. Always have a vision of what you want to achieve. Trust your gut and intuition. And know you can do anything you set your mind to.