This Flint, Michigan native has the career of his dreams. In dual roles at ESSENCE—Senior Vice President of Creative and Acting Managing Editor—Corey T. Stokes is responsible for developing and leading the creative strategy and approach of  the legacy brand that has shaped and celebrated global Black culture for 50 plus years. Stokes’ journey to ESSENCE  began as an independent stylist who has worked with artists (Snoh Aalegra, Kid Cudi, ASAP Ferg) and actors (Michael B. Jordan, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) to photo shoots with iconic brands, including Hermes, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Today he splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles as he oversees the creative direction of ESSENCE plus its sister brands: Afropunk, Beautycon and the famed Essence Festival. —K.M.
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