Post by CM
The news was announced today that editor-in-chief of Vogue UK, Alexandra Shulman, is to step down from her role in search of pastures new this autumn. Perhaps not as iconic as her US counterpart Anna Wintour, Shulman has nonetheless steered the Vogue ship for 25 years (1/4 of its entire existence, in other words) and leaves behind a legacy that has seen the highest circulation figures of its history, among other notable achievements.
Shulman is one in a long line of recent Vogue editors who have shaped the fashion world (and thus, if Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada is to be believed, the rest of the world too) during the last number of years. It could be said that Diana Vreeland was the first ‘celebrity editor’, with her distinctive style, strong personality and innovative thoughts and ideas cementing US Vogue’s place at the forefront of fashion during her tenure in the 60s and early 70s.
The late Franca Sozzani, who sadly died on December 22nd last year, held the post of editor of Italian Vogue from 1988 until her death at age 66. She was known for being unafraid to tackle issues not usually seen in fashion magazines – domestic abuse and drug use for instance – and for championing a diversity in models.
Carine Roitfeld was a model, stylist and collaborator with Mario Testino before beginning a ten year run as editor at Vogue Paris. She’s lauded for her edgy look and is frequently cited as a leading fashion influencer, having launched her own magazine CR after her time at Vogue and serving as muse and inspiration to designers like Tom Ford and Yves-Saint Laurent.
Roitfeld was succeeded by Emmanuelle Alt, who had previously worked under Roifeld as fashion director. Alt is basically the definiton of ‘French Girl Style’, and is as cool as they come.
When Vogue China launched in 2005 there was no other person to take the reigns than Angelica Cheung, who had initially cut her teeth in Marie Claire and Elle China. The first issue had to be re-printed after an initial print run of 300,000, such was the demand for a native version of Vogue, of which Cheung said “it dawned on me that I could create something new”. She could and she did, and Vogue China has increased in profit each year since its inception.
Anna Wintour is not only one of the most successful magazine editors ever, but a pop culture icon in her own right. One doesn’t become a legend in the industry without due purpose, and Wintour’s ground breaking strategy, embrace of the new and innovative ideas have kept her on the fore-front where she belongs, for 28 years.
So, Shulman leaves a fashion-giant shaped gap in her wake, and speculation is open to who’ll be chosen to follow in her footsteps. Whoever it is will join an elite group of women who have striven for greatness during their time under the Vogue blanket. A new era is about to dawn, and I’m really rather excited to see what it brings.