‘Vogue’ Visionary Stepping Down

If you love fashion, chances are you’ve picked up a copy of Vogue at least once in your life and ogled at the luxurious designer goods and impeccably-styled models displayed throughout the magazine’s glossy pages. But on Jan. 20, news broke that has the potential to change the lauded fashion bible as we know it.

According to The New York Times, Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue, announced she will be stepping down from her position at the Condé Nast publication. A spokeswoman for the company explained that Coddington will act as a “creative editor at large,” producing “several” articles a year for Vogue while pursuing other opportunities.

Coddington told industry website Business of Fashion that although she will be scaling back her position, she still looks forward to contributing to the magazine. “I’m not running away from Vogue, because it has opened so many doors. But it will be nice to collaborate, and nice to go out (and) give talks to people,” she said of her future plans.

The now-former creative director assumed her place in the spotlight after the 2009 documentary, “The September Issue,” was released, which followed famed Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour and her team as they compiled the magazine’s 840-page September 2007 issue — the largest single issue of a magazine ever printed, reports NPR.

Although Coddington has been with Vogue and worked side by side with Wintour for 28 years, The New York Times speculates that her departure may have been long overdue. In a 2014 interview with The Financial Times, Coddington said, “I’ve been saying, ‘I’m going to leave tomorrow’ for the last 10 years.” While her exit may comes as a shock to us Vogue readers, her vacancy may usher in a series of surprises that may change the publication as we know it.

The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman describes three potential changes that may take place. Coddington and Wintour both assumed their positions at Vogue in 1988, while Executive Fashion Editor Phyllis Posnick has been at the magazine since 1987 and Fashion Director Tonne Goodman added her name to the masthead in 1999; Her exit, then, may spur other changes in leadership at the magazine.

Second, Friendman suggests that as Condé Nast reconciles their print publications with their respective online presences, any decisions Winter may make as the magazine’s artistic director will signal a longterm editorial strategy that will impact the magazine’s future.

Finally, Coddington celebrated fashion as a means to “transport and transform,” which balanced out Wintour’s practicality and business prowess. Their strengths combined to form the publication we have all come to love, and Coddington’s absence may mean an overall change in direction for Vogue.

While Coddington is bowing out from her post at Vogue, The New York Times says that she is not retiring altogether. In fact, she is set to release a perfume with fashion company Comme De Garçons in April, while working on a follow-up book to her 2002 title, “Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.” There’s even talk of a film being made on her 2012 autobiography, “Grace.”

Perhaps Coddington explained her plans post-Vogue best when she said, “It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going to retire. I don’t want to sit around.”

Clearly, Coddington has more work to do on more things that will, undoubtedly, find their way into our hearts yet again.

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