Franca Sozzani by Peter Lindbergh
I was extremely saddened to hear about the passing of Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia who has been with the magazine since 1988. She was the last artist and visionary who fearlessly blurred the lines between fashion, art, and social commentary in her magazine. She was a provocateur, an artist who didn’t silence herself from speaking out about the problems we see in contemporary society. From racism, to pollution, to domestic violence, Sozzani challenged conventional views on fashion from something vain to something artistic. She once said “Fashion isn’t really about clothes, it’s about life.” She always gives creative freedom to the photographers which became the success of the magazine as each issue has become somewhat a work of art.
Vogue Italia March 1999
Vogue Italia May 1993
Vogue Italia May 2004
Vogue Italia has always been very close to my heart with Franca being the driving force behind it. It broadened my mind as to what fashion is and what fashion can be. I loved her entire tenure as EIC of the magazine; it wasn’t completely perfect, but it was almost perfect which was good enough. The only EIC I can think of who is as groundbreaking as Sozzani was Diana Vreeland, another legend in the fashion industry. Vogue Italia was the closest thing we had to a perfect fashion magazine.
Vogue Italia July 2005
Vogue Italia August 2010
Other than her artistic endeavours, she did so much more for the fashion industry as a whole, promoting new artists with the help of the Vogue Italia name. She was a constant supporter of new talent, from new designers all around the world, to the new models she would put on the cover of her magazine, and the new photographers she would promote in her website. She was also an advocate for racial diversity in the fashion industry and did not limit herself to models of African and East Asian descent. Vogue Italia was the first Vogue edition that had cover models of Asian descent (which was also the first Vogue edition with a Middle Eastern model on the cover) and of Central American descent; it was also the first Vogue edition that had a whole edition dedicated to models of African descent. The careers of many fashion legends including the supermodel Trinity (Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington) and photographers like Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh, and Paolo Roversi are all thanks to her.
Vogue Italia January 1991 with Yasmeen Ghauri, a Canadian model of German-Pakistani descent
Vogue Italia April 1996 with Elsa Benitez, a Mexican model
Vogue Italia July 2008, “The Black Issue”
Franca Sozzani has done so much for the fashion industry and she was definitely gone too soon. She was one of the last pillars who managed to support this industry that’s dying of commercialisation, and now she’s gone. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Vogue Italia or to the fashion industry as a whole now that she is gone. She died a legend, so may she rest in peace.
Arrivederci Franca ♥
Photos courtesy of: