REBEL WITH A CAUSE: The Edward Enninful revolution is rumbling on at British Vogue, which lost Emily Sheffield, the title’s deputy editor and one-time aspirant to the top job, this week.
Sheffield, Samantha Cameron’s sister, said that after “a very happy decade” with the title, “it now feels the right time to move on to new challenges.” She said she plans to finish her time at London’s Vogue House as acting editor of the October issue, and is looking forward to seeing Enninful’s “new and exciting vision” for Vogue.
Enninful officially joins the title on Aug. 1, although he’s already been wielding fashion’s big ax, with many of the title’s old-timers leaving. According to media sources, Sheffield jumped, and was not pushed. There are more departures to come, as well as some new faces joining, with an announcement about the latter expected this week.
Chambers, who left in May, had been at the publication for 36 years, and famously styled the Duchess of Cambridge for the cover shoot for Vogue’s 100th anniversary issue last year. She worked closely with Mario Testino on scores of cover stories, and was a fixture at the magazine.
Her interview was a diatribe against British Vogue and the fashion industry: She also hit out at the Italian fashion tycoon Renzo Rosso, whose company owns Marni, where Chambers had served for years as a creative consultant.
“I didn’t leave. I was fired,” said Chambers in the interview, detailing how and when she discovered she was no longer needed chez Vogue House. She said she was blindsided by the news, one reason why she’s let loose on her former employer.
“I don’t want to be the person who puts on a brave face and tells everyone, ‘Oh, I decided to leave the company,’ when everyone knows you were really fired. There’s too much smoke and mirrors in the industry as it is.”
Condé said some of Chambers’ recollections were inaccurate and issued the following statement on Wednesday: “It’s usual for an incoming editor to make some changes to the team. Any changes made are done with the full knowledge of senior management.”
Chambers also talked about some of her own covers for British Vogue: “The June cover with Alexa Chung in a stupid Michael Kors T-shirt is crap. He’s a big advertiser so I knew why I had to do it. I knew it was cheesy when I was doing it, and I did it anyway. OK, whatever. But there were others.…There were others that were great.”
She also recalls how “naïve” the Castiglionis were when they sold a majority stake in Marni to Renzo Rosso, whose OTB company owns brands such as Diesel and Maison Margiela.
“He is the antithesis of everything Marni stood for,” and said she suggested to Rosso that he promote someone who was already on the design team when Consuelo Castiglioni left as creative chief. She said he didn’t do it, and “the last women’s wear collection was a disaster. The show was appalling.”
Rosso declined to comment on Wednesday.
Chambers also admitted that she hasn’t read Vogue in years. “I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people — so ridiculously expensive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. Why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.”
Chambers also alluded to a “new idea” that she’s working on. Maybe it’s a tell-all, or in this case, a tell-more memoir.