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The fashion industry reacted in shock to the news of Franca Sozzani’s death on Thursday.

Giorgio Armani: “Nobody like Franca Sozzani managed to imagine a different reality, which she narrated through a daily exercise of good taste and creativity. She shaped her life in a way that was interesting for everybody. I’ll be missing searching her silhouette in the dark room [after the show]. I’m close to Carla and Francesco with true love in this painful moment.”

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli in a joint statement: “We lost a person who gave everything to Italian fashion. Our feeling for Franca surpasses friendship after having worked together for our entire life.”

Donatella Versace: “Words cannot express how I am feeling right now. Franca Sozzani was like a sister to me. She was my friend and my confidant. She had a true heart and a soul full of love. Franca would always tell me the truth, no matter what. She did everything with passion, whether it was her passion for her family and friends, or her championing of Italian fashion. The world has lost the icon of Italian style and the epitome of feminine empowerment. I will miss her more than words can say.”

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering: “I am shocked by this desperately sad news. The world of fashion has lost a great advocate; Kering and our fashion houses have lost a sharp eye for creativity, and I have lost a dear personal friend. Franca has always been alongside us from the first day, and I really appreciated her vision. I will miss Franca’s generosity, her passion for beauty, boldness and young talent, as well as her dedication to ensuring they were duly recognized.”

Sidney Toledano, president and ceo of Christian Dior Couture: “I am very sad to learn of the passing of Franca Sozzani with whom the House of Dior have always enjoyed a very special relationship. Her unique eye, her passion and her enthusiasm for recognizing and fostering creativity have enabled the emergence of some of the most important creative directors over recent decades and made Vogue Italia a peerless publication. Her immense talent will be greatly missed.”

Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli: “Most of all, Franca was a friend. She is a person I learned to discover over the years and who gave me a lot. Her vision, idea and point of view on fashion are and will always be a unique lesson for all of us. Her strength, irony and courage will always guide me in my life.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections at Christian Dior: “Franca, a friend, an icon, a woman I have always admired. I will be forever grateful for her generosity and her support. She will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele: “I met Franca only these last two years. We immediately clicked. I was fascinated by her infinite kindness and sweetness. Her eyes immediately captured me. They reflected her curious soul and her attitude as an extremely intelligent and energetic woman.”

American Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour wrote the following in a blogpost on Vogue.com: “In private, Franca was warm, clever, funny and someone who could give the Sphinx a run for its money when it comes to keeping a confidence. She was also the hardest-working person I have known, and with an envy-inducing ease with multitasking. She made everything she worked on appear effortless, regardless of whether it was an event for several hundred; a whirlwind trip to Africa to support the continent’s emerging designers, or the creation of yet another newsworthy, provocative and utterly spellbinding issue of Italian Vogue.”

Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and ceo of Condé Nast International, said Sozzani’s death was “an incalculable loss” and described her as “one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine. She was by far the most talented, influential and important person within the Condé Nast International organization. She made Italian Vogue a powerful and influential voice in the worlds of fashion and photography by publishing groundbreaking photography and journalism. In doing so she expanded Vogue beyond what had been the traditional model of a fashion magazine and often courted controversy by doing so. The greatest fashion photographers looked to Franca as the creative leader who would give them the freedom and the scope to produce their best work and they did so, month after month.” Newhouse also emphasized Sozzani’s personal traits, saying, “She was honest, funny, warm and possessed a sense of irony and humility.”

Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s women’s collections: “Franca revolutionized Italian Vogue through her imagination and talent. An iconoclast, she was truly committed to what she stood for. She’ll remain an unforgettable figure, forever intriguing and mysterious as though stepping out of a pre-Raphaelite painting. Such a sharp and refined eye, she had a perpetually renewed enthusiasm for fashion, a unique touch. We will all miss her greatly.”

Peter Lindbergh: “Franca was definitely the most talented, unconventional and spirited woman I have ever met, and all over beautiful.”

Ellen von Unwerth: “It was an immense honor to be part of Franca’s Italian Vogue. She gave you lots of freedom but also demanded the best of you. May she rest in peace.”

Steven Klein: “Franca created a platform for fashion photographers to create art. We owe her everything.”

Mario Sorrenti: “I’ve known Franca for 25 years. She was one of the first people in fashion that believed in me as a photographer and an artist. I’m in complete shock and deeply saddened by the news of her passing. I loved her very much and will always be grateful and will miss her dearly. She was a true visionary and beautiful woman inside and out.”

Dries Van Noten: “Franca had a singular and constant vision that championed creativity and ensured Italian Vogue was a haven of fashion. She has left us too soon.”

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti: “We cannot believe that she is gone….We spoke one week ago and she was, as always, full of hope and courage…like she has been for the last 14 months. Franca was a friend before everything else…as an editor we had our moments of tension but as a close friend we had always a laugh about the intrigues of fashion.
 She was above fashion. She was generous like nobody…she was only Franca….We will always remember you, dear beautiful soul.”

Fausto Puglisi, creative director of both his namesake brand and Emanuel Ungaro: “With Lei and then Vogue, Franca Sozzani did an incredible job in the Eighties and Nineties. She contributed to revolutionize fashion in an extraordinary and audacious way.”

Angela Missoni: “If I think about Franca, the first thing that comes to my mind is her personality — she was ironic, lovely, simple and direct even if at the same time she was very charismatic and authoritative at work. She marked our industry by making an Italian magazine the point of reference for the whole world.”

Silvia Venturini Fendi: “It’s difficult to describe Franca in a few words. She was definitely a good friend, she was a woman with a big heart, she looked invincible and she was always keen to support people. She is definitely a personality who will remain in the history of fashion thanks to her ability to anticipate times and understand people with their own talents.”

Alberta Ferretti: “I am devastated by the news because you always believe these things will never happen to those you love. Franca has been a true friend for all my life, to whom I owe a lot and who has been an example of intelligence and foresight in her work. Franca has supported all Italian designers in the evolution of their international careers. With her magazine she placed Italian fashion at the center of the world since the end of the Eighties and stimulated all of us to chase quality and to build a precise identity for ourselves.”

OTB founder Renzo Rosso: “She was an icon. She did not want to attract attention but she was always at the right place at the right moment and she really helped so many in the fashion world. We were two kids when we started working together, I with Diesel and Franca with Lei. She will leave a great, unbridgeable gap in Italian fashion.”

Massimo Giorgetti, MSGM and Emilio Pucci creative director: “I will always have a great memory of Franca. She helped me a lot by both criticizing my work and giving me precious tips both in terms of creativity and business. Today we lost the most important and relevant figure of the fashion industry we have in our country. We will miss her personality, charismatic and powerful. I’m so honored to have met her.”

Federico Marchetti, ceo of Yoox Net-a-porter Group: “Franca Sozzani was a unique and wonderful woman, forceful and visionary, the ultimate Grande Dame; inspiring the whole fashion and cultural world with her personality. She tirelessly encouraged fresh talents, injecting a vibrancy to our industry, and pushed it to support so many worthy causes, amongst which Africa, especially Women in Africa ranked high in her heart. On a personal note she was a true friend and mentor, and I’ll deeply miss our exchanges on all manner of topics. She’ll be greatly missed.”

Matteo Marzotto: “I am heartbroken. We were so close and she was a true friend. She would always find the time to listen, help and give back. She was totally reliable and I felt sure whatever I would say would remain between us. We had so many laughs together, she had a great sense of humor and she was fun. She had a very transversal idea of life and would find the irony in vanity.”

Carlo Capasa, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana president: “I’m broken. I knew she was sick, but I would have never imagined she was about to leave us. She was unique, she was a special one. She did so much for our fashion industry, but also for the whole of Made in Italy. She was Italy’s best ambassadress in the world. She is irreplaceable. She was sincere, authentic, extraordinary.”

Mario Boselli, honorary chairman of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana: “The last time I saw her was at Palazzo Reale for the inauguration of the Vanessa Beecroft exhibition [Nov. 25]. I could see she wasn’t doing well, but she didn’t give up for a second. She was posing for pictures, talking to everybody. I was impressed by her strength. I admired her. Over the years, we haven’t agreed on many things, we discussed, we confronted one another but always with great mutual respect.”

British Vogue editor in chief Alexandra Shulman: “Franca was one of those people who really was legendary. Powerful, beautiful, intelligent and creatively adventurous, she was the perfect archetype of a Vogue editor and will be very much missed by those who have worked with her and admired her for many years.”

Glenda Bailey, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar: “Franca was a great editor with incredible vision and a unique eye. She will always be remembered for her originality and brilliant spirit.”

Katie Grand, the London-based stylist and editor in chief of Love magazine, had worked in the past with Sozzani, and called her “a visionary editor, and perhaps one of the first big Vogue editors to have a grasp on art and commerce, firmly believing both could work together with the smallest of compromise. I admired her hugely when I was at college, and had the amazing good fortune to work with her both on Italian Vogue and in styling her for Industrie Magazine — truly the end of a publishing era.”

Carine Roitfeld: “Franca is a fashion icon, a true legend and an inspiration for me because of her creativity. She was very generous, discreet, funny and smart. I had so much respect for her. I am very sad for her son Francesco. She was a mother, too, a great one. I started working with her for Lei magazine — a long time ago. She will be missed.”

Cristina Tajani, Milan town councilor for work, fashion and design: “We lost our most eminent ambassadress of Made in Italy who through her storytelling was able to communicate the Italian taste and style in the world. Milan looses the most influential interpreter and innovator of fashion communication. Franca made the search of beauty, which she shared with the public, the reason of her life.”

La Rinascente fashion director Tiziana Cardini: “Franca was a giant of creativity and generosity. I owe her everything. I’m so grateful to her for her vision and her ability to show me the path in my career. She had like a sixth sense, which enabled her to support and guide so many people. Franca was a pivot and a magnet from a creative point of view. She was a great woman, an inspiration for me with her energy and ability to focus.”

Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala: “Today Milan lost a great ambassador of fashion and style, not only Italian. Franca Sozzani has been more than a great fashion journalist. Our city owes a lot to her. She was able to interpret and anticipate trends. By talking about them with elegance, she contributed to make Milan an international point of reference for the fashion system. We will always remember her with love.”

Tim Walker: “The larger the fashion industry became the blander it became. Commerce killed creativity… but there are certain people who guard the art that still exists and makes your heart leap when you look at a fashion photograph. Franca Sozzani was the most ferocious guardian angel of true art in fashion photography.”

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