Essence magazine is announcing the retirement of its longtime Beauty & Cover Director, Mikki Taylor.

As of March 31, Taylor will contribute to Essence as Editor-at-Large and work closely with Essence Creative Director Greg Monfries on cover concepts and photo sessions, as well as marketing events and special celebrity projects with Essence Communications, Inc, the magazine announced Wednesday.

In addition, she will focus on expanding her existing entrepreneurial ventures. Mikki Taylor Enterprises, LLC, will serve as a holding company for a number of vertical businesses, including Satin Doll Productions, a full-service image building and consulting division, and MT Communications, a strategic communications and branding corporation.

Taylor will also bring her expertise to the broader field of media entertainment in this new capacity as well.

“I am thrilled to continue to serve women of color in my new role as Editor-at- Large, with innovative platforms that showcase our beauty,” says Taylor. “Without a doubt, this is the most exciting period in the history of black women ever and I look forward to this new threshold in my career that will allow me to inspire and be inspired by women around the world.”

Taylor just celebrated her 30-year anniversary with Essence on Feb. 5. Soon after joining the staff in 1980, she became the magazine’s beauty editor. She then conceived and pitched the additional role of Cover Director, which was a groundbreaking position in the industry, and became Beauty and Cover Editor in 1986.

Essence notes:

Taylor eventually led the transition from covers featuring models to covers featuring celebrities and has worked with every African-American personality of note over the past three decades.

Throughout her extensive career with the magazine, she helped to positively impact and transform the mind-set of black women from all walks of life, including celebrities, political figures, models, mothers, students and the like. Taylor’s insightful touch helped black women to embrace their unique beauty and see themselves in ways they never imagined. Her influence on the beauty industry continues to be profound; she has provided valuable guidance to manufacturers not only on the needs and desires of Black women but also on what inspires them: Black women don’t simply shop for products — they shop for experiences they want to know.

“Mikki is truly an icon at Essence, and we celebrate her accomplishments and thank her for her tremendous contributions,” says Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray. “As an editor and personality in her own right, she has successfully expanded the boundaries of storytelling to honor the unique beauty of African-American women, and shared her knowledge in order to be of service and inspiration.”