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But in November 2021, InStyle ownership changed, as the company Dotdash acquired Meredith. Two months later, InStyle’s print publication ceased — along with Entertainment Weekly and others — and Ms. Brown was dismissed.
While she was concerned for younger people on her team, Ms. Brown felt relatively “sanguine,” she said. She didn’t “chuck a wobbly,” which is, apparently, an Australian term for “freak out.” (She also had a wedding to plan: In April, in Hawaii, she married a 31-year-old writer named Brandon Borror-Chappell, whom she met as a Sunset Tower Hotel waiter, in front of a whole lot of famous friends, while wearing a taffy-pink off-shoulder custom Valentino gown.)
“So maybe I’ll get fewer handbags sent to me,” Ms. Brown said, before suddenly turning serious. “If you’ve earned your stripes and done the work, you take it with you. You don’t just fly off into space.”
To some extent, she was also prepared. Two years earlier, she decided to register a company, Laura Brown Media, and start thinking about her next moves.
Those moves are more clear today: Ms. Brown will release a podcast in early 2023 called “So Seen,” made with SeeHer (Ms. Brown advises or serves on the board of several nonprofits, including this one, which is devoted to portrayals of women in marketing and media). She is executive-producing a film about the fashion world with Bruna Papandrea, a producer of “The Undoing” and “Big Little Lies” on HBO. She is consulting for luxury brands. She is working on a collaboration with the French brand Sezane.
At a dinner celebrating that collaboration in October, Ms. Brown was, true to form, straddling the roles of host and court jester, doing funny little dances and making rapid introductions. (Laura Dern calls Ms. Brown “the grand connector. There’s no conversation anyone ends around Laura Brown where she’s not like, ‘You know who you need to know?’”)