FRENCH VOGUE’S NEW CHIEF

Byline: Miles Socha

PARIS — Carine Roitfeld has a new accessory: a desk.
“It’s the first time in my life I’m going to have an office,” she said Wednesday, when Conde Nast France named her editor in chief of French Vogue, confirming a Tuesday WWD report.
“It’s a very new challenge for me,” she told WWD. “It’s like a dream. To me, Vogue is the best title for a magazine and French Vogue, it has to be the best one.”
Perhaps best known for her collaborations with designer Tom Ford, with whom she has consulted for six years, and photographer Mario Testino, with whom she has worked for more than a decade, Roitfeld will now steer France’s toniest fashion glossy in a new direction.
She formally assumes her new post April 2, when she will have completed her freelance commitments to Ford, specifically her styling work on the fall Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent women’s collections. But her influence will already be felt with the black-and-white-themed February issue, which is slated to hit newsstands Jan. 28. It reflects the work of several photographers who are new to the title, including Ines Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Terry Richardson, Nathaniel Goldberg and Thomas Schenk. Testino’s work also will have a strong presence in French Vogue and Roitfeld said she intends to continue doing sittings.
In announcing the appointment, Gardner Bellanger, president of Conde Nast France, described Roitfeld as a cool hunter with a “vision of the now that is absolutely startling.”
And she said that Roitfeld’s influence would be felt in a fresher, cleaner and more “legible” magazine with an upbeat, friendly tone and a strong fashion stance.
“The fashion pictures are, in general, very big, very legible and very strong,” she said. “And the choice of clothes is very focused on now, gotta-have, can’t-live-without clothes.”
Acknowledging that Roitfeld is best known as a stylist, gaining recognition for her work at French Vogue and French Glamour since the mid-Eighties, Bellanger noted that the editor actually started her career as a writer and is extremely capable of maintaining the magazine’s reputation for reporting and features.
“I will be very involved in the articles,” Roitfeld said. “Of course, there are already of lot of brilliant people at Vogue, so I’m not worried. But I want fashion and articles to go in the same direction.”
Roitfeld succeeds Joan Juliet Buck, who, as reported, left the magazine last December to return to the U.S. She had been editor in chief since 1994 and was credited by Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Conde Nast International, for bringing new luster to the magazine with her “personal sense of style and intellectual brilliance.” Buck has not yet said what her next move might be.
Following the exit of Buck and fashion director Marcus Von Ackermann, French Vogue assembled a new creative team, naming Roitfeld creative director, hiring Emmanuelle Alt as the new fashion director and bringing in fashion editor Marie-Amelie Sauve, among others.
Describing the group of women as her “dream team,” Bellanger on Wednesday said, “These are the Charlie’s Angels of fashion today.”

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