Picardi grew up in an Italian American Catholic family in Boston. Picardi started his publishing career as an intern at Teen Vogue. He then served as online beauty editor at Teen Vogue before becoming senior beauty editor at Refinery29 in September 2014. At Refinery29 he worked for Mikki Halpin, whose influence as well as Picardi's personal experiences led to a growing interest in political engagement alongside his work on beauty; Picardi returned to Teen Vogue as digital editorial director in April 2015, the next year becoming part of a reorganization of the magazine's leadership with editor Elaine Welteroth, creative director Marie Suter and Picardi replacing departing founding editor-in-chief Amy Astley. Picardi oversees web content and social media for Teen Vogue, significantly increasing traffic to its website;
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