The Seaport Storyteller Creating New Memories
Ariel Foxman started his career in media, working for venerable publications ranging from Vanity Fair to The New Yorker. As the first male editor of InStyle, he helped the fashion publication become one of the most popular in America. Recently, he’s taken his storytelling expertise from the page to real life. In his latest role as VP of brand and experience for WS Development, he’s creating retail experiences for Boston’s (formerly desolate) Seaport. In an interview with ROAR, Ariel says the switch from print to experiential is all part of the same trajectory: “There are many overlaps with what I was tasked to do back at InStyle and what I am tasked to do in Seaport—at its core, my job is to inspire and inform people about new and exciting ways they can enliven their lives, experience new things, and broaden their own aspirations.”
Since 2021, Ariel has played a pivotal role in making the Boston Seaport an experiential destination, a job he describes as “storytelling in 4D.” Naturally, retail programming is part of his domain, and he always has an eye on bringing first-to-Boston brands to the Seaport. But his role is mostly about creating experiences that will create memories in a place that is, by-and-large, without collective memories. (Until recently, the Seaport was less neighborhood, more vacant parking lot). Last year, for example, the Holiday Market at Snowport, brought together more than 120 makers (most BIPOC- and women-owner) and attracted 875,000 visitors over 7 weeks, many for the shopping, others for a chance to make a wish at the Wishing Wall or get a photo with Betty the Yeti. This year, Ariel is looking forward to the neighborhood’s inaugural Halloween event, Play it By Fear, featuring a string quartet playing instrumental versions of spooky movie music, plus other creepy collaborations with local businesses.