Cara Kagan is a writer and musician who has contributed to many national magazines, including Self, Shape, Fitness, Glamour, Real Simple, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Post Alexa section. She got her start writing style and beauty in the trenches as an editor for the fashion and beauty bible Women's Wear Daily and then went on to become beauty and fitness director for both YM and Mode magazines.
She is most proud of creating Girl magazine, the first multi-cultural and multi-size fashion and beauty magazine for teens. Despite her wild hair, sensible shoes, and decidedly “basic” fashion sense, she also served as the beauty and fitness director of Elle magazine for several years.
In 1990, her Grandma Ruth Appelbaum insisted on inviting Andrew Kagan to her 90th birthday party, completely against her wishes. They married in 1992 and now live in the Bronx with their two grey and white rescue kitties, Mouse and Clyde.
While she still mainly sings and plays guitar for her cats and guitar teacher, she hopes that one day soon, Sarah Mandelbaum will inspire her, and she will finally get up the nerve to perform at an open mic.
The Rise, Fall, and Return of Sarah Manbelbaum
The Rise, Fall, and Return of Sarah Mandelbaum gives a rich and hilarious birdseye view of the music and fashion publishing industries—two of the most exciting and dazzling professions out there. Narrated in Sarah’s honest, witty, and take-no-prisoners voice, it follows her surprising rise as a four-foot-eleven, frizzy-haired, ripped-jean/concert T-shirt—wearing, French fry-eating rocker in a world of half-starved, couture-clad, smooth-haired glamazons.
It takes place in NYC in the post-grunge, ultra-glamorous ‘90s before the death of print media when magazines were the sizes of telephone books (when there were telephone books) and fashion shows rivaled Barnum & Bailey Circus productions. Then, just a few editors (not thousands of “influencers”) dictated who was hip, what was hot, and when it was all happening. Meanwhile, people got their daily dose of gossip from a handful of tabloids and not today’s ever- present-always-in-your-face social media. You might think that meant a kinder, gentler world than we inhabit today, but think again.