When I opened my Twitter this morning, the first thing in my Feed was @Vogue.fr, “Tout sur le départ de Carine Roitfeld.” Nooooooo!!! In a massive thud heard around world, Paris Vogue editor-in-chief (and my idol) Carine Roitfeld announced that she’s leaving the magazine. It’s not that she’s going to another magazine or anything, but more that she’s kind of totally over them. “I have no plan at all,” she said. “It’s ten years that I’m editor of the magazine. I think it’s time to do something different,” she told Cathy Horyn.
Why, CaRo? Why!!
This day was kind of a long time coming. Here’s what CaRo said about the fashion industry to New York magazine back in 2008:
Right now I think that fashion in the world becomes a bit boring. There is so much money, and I feel a bit when you go to shows they want to sell so many handbags, and for me, well, I do not like handbags. I do not wear handbags. It is not a nice look, to carry a handbag. I’m not a business girl. I will never be a business girl, but I will say, for Anna Wintour, that I respect successful people, I like things that are success. But this is really American.
I can’t speak for everybody, but CaRo is the reason I buy Vogue Paris, and I think lots of people feel the same way. Under CaRo decade-long tenure, she breathed new life into the magazine, and it “received record levels of circulation and advertising and editorial success,” said Jonathan Newhouse, Condé Nast overlord. What distinguishes CaRo’s Vogue from all the others is that she still believes in glamour. Models take the cover of Vogue Paris, while celebrities with a movie coming out usually cover American Vogue. This is why it will be a cold day in hell before CaRo takes over American Vogue, as was hotly rumored in The Devil Wears Prada and in fashion circles back in 2008. American Vogue’s editorial voice goes something like, “Hey there! Everybody can be glamorous!” whereas Vogue Paris is like, “if you can’t afford to be as fabulous as the people in the magazine, sorry—that’s your own fault.”
I’ve always felt that reading an issue of Vogue Paris is not unlike reading an ethnography, or maybe a short story, of popular culture. Longtime Vogue Paris social commentator Francis D’Orléan wrote a glamorous book called SNOB SOCIETY in which he basically wrote about all the fabulous people throughout time, who of course have landed in the magazine.
People respect CaRo’s Vogue because she is not afraid to take risks. Tranny fabulous style icon and fellow African-American Andre J. was once on the cover; she did a profile on transsexual model Lea T. And the magazine is just generally not afraid to “go there,” like it did with the October 2010 90-year anniversary issue (the best one yet) with Lara Stone’s plump breasts on the cover. Plus, there’s lots and lots and lots of black clothes! These are all things Anna Wintour would never do with her Vogue. CaRo feels young, sexy, approachable, and hip, all things Anna are not.
CaRo plans to stay on through the end of January 2011, which should make the upcoming Paris Fashion Week very exciting. Her last issue as EIC will be in March, which thankfully means I can keep buying the magazine until then. It’s a sad day for fashionistas everywhere, but this is also just the way of the land in fashion. A dead brand or magazine decides it wants to be young and hip and relevant again, so they hire someone young and hip and relevant to make the magazine an ass load of cash. Then he or she peaces out and the whole thing starts all over again. Or a hot designer/editor leaves while the iron is piping hot. Fashion is about musical chairs. All the fashion greats left where they were while the stove was burning, typically at the height of when they were synonymous with the brand. Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane, Olivier Theyskens, and now Carine Roitfeld.
I’m excited to see what CaRo will do next. Rest assured, though, that whatever it is, it will not be as EIC of American Vogue.
And so, A Brief List of People Who Should Takeover Vogue Paris:
- Andre Leon Talley
- Olivier Zahm
- Daphne Guinness
- Lady Gaga
- Cecilia Dean
- Tom Ford. Man, a “Tom Ford” Vogue Paris would be ridiculous! You should “Like” my TOM FORD FOR VOGUE PARIS page on Facebook.