IN MEMORY OF FRANCA SOZZANI
The fashion world continues to mourn the loss of Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, who passed away just before Christmas. Born in Mantua, northern Italy, Sozzani began her career as an assistant at Vogue Bambini and quickly rose up the ranks. In 1979 she was named fashion director of Lei magazine, and became editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia in 1988. Among the most influential fashion voices internationally, Vogue Italia is respected and lauded by the fashion elite. In the magazine’s pages, careers are forged and celebrated.
Under her stewardship, Vogue Italia had the audacity to throw away the rulebook, covering typically delicate topics such as surgery and racism with intellect and humour.
Franca’s recognition as a United Nations goodwill ambassador for the Fashion 4 Development initiative was one of her career highlights. “That’s probably the moment in which I understood, in a very simple way, that I had the power to do something to help other people,” she once told Vogue Australia with genuine modesty.
She was also active in initiatives to aid young designers and sat on the judging panel for the Woolmark Prize. In association with her Woolmark partnership, L’Uomo Vogue dedicated an issue to Australia and she visited Sydney three years ago, becoming the first international ambassador of the Australian Fashion Chamber.
She famously wore clothes purposely out of season. “I know a lot of people who buy fashion,” she said. “I know, perhaps, only two people who have style.” Sozzani was the most stylish of women, inside and out. As we head to our biannual Vogue editors’ dinner this month in Paris, it will be with heavy hearts knowing that she will not be there with us too.
Edwina McCann & the Vogue Australia team