Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Carine to cross the pond?

new york magazine

Is life about to imitate art for Anna Wintour? According to Gawker, the world’s most powerful fashion magazine editor is to be replaced by her Paris Vogue counterpart Carine Roitfeld (^). Fans of The Devil Wears Prada may recall the book’s subplot to replace Runway editor Miranda Priestley – who is loosely based on Wintour herself – with Jacqueline Follet, the editor of Runway’s French edition.

Speculation has been raging since November 18 that Wintour, 59, may be about to depart Vogue after 20 years at its helm.

Although the claims were refuted by Conde Nast, sources told The New York Post that Wintour’s contract is due to expire and that she feels she has “done it all and had enough”.

Recent coverage of Russian Vogue editor Aliona Doletskaya prompted chatter that Doletskaya might one day be a suitable Wintour replacement.

But could Roitfeld, whose English, by her own admission “is not perfect”, realistically helm Condé Nast’s high-profile flagship fashion title, which was launched in the US in 1892?

Roitfeld also came to the editor’s chair of Paris Vogue via a styling background, as distinct from journalism, as was the case with Wintour and Diana Vreeland. That said, in between the latter two US Vogue editors, Grace Mirabella boasted a retail background.

And is Roitfeld's edgy personal and editorial style, moreover, the most obvious fit with the ultimately conservative US marketplace?

UPDATE: Since flatly denied by Conde Nast chairman Si Newhouse Jr, Roitfeld's daughter, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld - and now, Roitfeld herself.


Iheartfashion said...

I LOVE Vogue Paris, but US Vogue is a completely different magazine. Circulation numbers are much much bigger, and the target market is entirely different. I'm not sure Roitfeld's edgy style and admitted lack of interest in the commercial aspects of the business would translate well in the American market.
I'd certainly buy it, but I don't know how well a Roitfeld-helmed Vogue would play in Peoria.

cas ruffin said...

I like Roitfield but I'm really feeling Aliona Doletskaya. The covers just say it all.

Mike said...

Would it be naive to say that putting in a Parisian into the American market might be pretty off-putting?

Patty, Refinery29 put up a short summary on it, I haven't read it myself but apparently, it's 'bullshit'. Aliona would be my best bet, she's pretty articulate and speaks really well. Does Emmanuelle Alt speak English well? She converses about fashion like a biblical scholar.

Anonymous said...

she is far too good for the us

Anonymous said...

I hope she doesn't, actually. I love French Vogue, I'm happy to buy it as an import. US Vogue is a huge market, and the current economic climate would necessitate focus on sales (especially as their sales have fallen). It would be a smart move for Wintour to resign now, or in the near future. I think a successor would have a tough job, that wouldn't allow the freedom I prefer to see in Roitfeld's work. Russian Vogue was introduced at a time of economic turmoil, and Doletskaya handled the development of circulation and advertisements well. Of the two, I think the latter would be more suited to US Vogue. But would the US really want a non-American in that position?

Patty Huntington said...

well, wintour is british, she is not american. ditto glenda bailey, the editor of US harpers bazaar. i'm not sure it makes that much difference where the editor is from per se, provided that they are in a position to confidently represent and spruik the magazine - something that i doubt roitfeld would be able to do. think about the public speaking engagements that would go hand in hand with the gig. from everything she has said in other interviews moreover, the US would seem to me to be the last market in which roitfeld sees herself working.

i personally love her style and what she has done with paris vogue. but that's right, it's a much smaller market and magazine and while roitfeld's very fashion-forward style suits europe, notably paris, the american fashion industry seems to have a hard time dealing with anything that is not commercial sportswear. wintour has a mainstream corporate image and at the end of the day, that is presumably what they want. particularly in these tough economic times.

it's interesting to note that karin upton baker once briefly guest edited US harpers bazaar, shortly after the death of liz tilberis. this was prior to joining hermes, when she was the editor of australian harpers bazaar.

Anonymous said...

My apologies. I can't believe I didn't know that Wintour is British! Thank you for clarifying.

Anonymous said...

Not that it really means anything, but... http://preview.tinyurl.com/6h6ydc Wintour saying she's not leaving now or anytime soon.

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