EXCLUSIVE: Rebel Girls, the entertainment brand best known for the children’s book series and podcast Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls has added former Warner Bros. and Disney exec Soo Koo and Lilly Workneh, former editor-in-chief of Blavity News, as, respectively, chief creative/marketing officer and head of digital content.
The appointments follow a recent deal with Imagine Kids & Family and Imagine Documentaries to develop short and long-form content as the brand looks to expand its portfolio and points of engagement to reach a wider range of girls from all backgrounds.
Rebel Girls released its latest book, Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women, earlier this month featuring among others gymnast Aly Raisman, activist Stacey Abrams, Cleopatra, Lady Gaga and VP Kamala Harris. The brand said it “will continue to amplify the stories of barrier-breaking Black women from around the world” with the release of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic in the fall. It’s looking to Koo and Workneh to build a wider community of experts, artists, writers and producers.
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“Rebel Girls is undergoing rapid growth with the expansion of our digital platform, books, audio, and other consumer products,” said Rebel Girls CEO Jes Wolfe. “We are excited that Soo Koo and Lilly Workneh – both Rebel Girls in their own right – will incorporate their professional and personal perspectives to further the Rebel Girls mission to meaningfully impact a diverse range of young women and girls.”
Koo, with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, fashion and creative design, will run global marketing, creative strategy, design and development. Prior to joining Rebel Girls she was chief creative officer of Warner Bros. Consumer Products leading properties from DC Comics to Looney Tunes to Harry Potter. She previously worked as North America VP of Creative for Fashion, Beauty, Stationery and Home at Disney Consumer Products and Disney Stores.
“I plan to use my experience driving creative and impactful marketing strategies to further elevate the stories of world-changing women and girls, while expanding the Rebel Girls footprint to meet our goal of instilling confidence in the lives of 50 million girls by 2025,” said Koo.
At Blavity News (one of handful of brands by Blavity, a digital media startup for communities of color) Rebel Girls’ new digital content chief Workneh directed its mission “to amplify, unpack and celebrate Black millennial voices.” She previously had roles at HuffPost, CNN.com, People, TheGrio.com and InStyle — and was a Forbes “30 Under 30” 2018 honoree.
She’ll work across Rebel Girls projects, including as lead in bringing Tales of Black Girl Magic to market in collaboration with CaShawn Thompson, who introduced the ‘Black Girls Are Magic’ concept on Twitter in 2013. The book will highlight Black women from around the world “who reflect diversity across profession, complexion, time period and background.”
Rebel Girls was co-founded in 2016 by Elena Favilli, co-author of the Good Night Stories, and Francesca Cavallo.
“When we created the first edition of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, it was only in my wildest dreams that the book would transform into the empowering brand for young women that it is today,” said Favilli. “It is such an honor to see other writers and creators continue our legacy of telling the stories of inspirational women … and set the stage for what today’s young girls can accomplish tomorrow.”
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