If there is anyone that is influential in the fashion industry, it is Grace Coddington. The British model turned Creative Director of Vogue, has reigned the world of style for decades. She was once known only to those behind the scenes, until the 2009 documentary The September Issue turned her into an accidental celebrity. Coddington’s infamous art of styling combined with her shy and reserved character left everyone wanting to know more about her career and life. I too have become infatuated by her story. When it was announced this week that she was stepping down from her position at Vogue, I was inspired to write something about this bittersweet moment of change.
The fashion media landscape is being re-shaped significantly, especially since publications are now having a hard time transitioning from print to digital. On that matter, Coddington was never interested in the commercial side of the business or digital, she was there to create work that celebrated fashion. Coddington wrote a memoir in 2012 that showed an insider look into the fashion industry, explaining how it has changed from the 1950s: evoking times when models had to carry their own props and bags to shoots. Coddington going her own way changes the direction of one of the most famous fashion magazines and marks the end of a fashion era.
Coddington claims she isn’t running away from Vogue or going into retirement. Her fans definitely have some things to look forward to in the future: a perfume collaboration with Commes des Garcon comes out in April and a documentary based on her memoir is in the works. Grace will continue to make an impact on the industry beyond styling shoots. However, I still think its important to take a moment to appreciate her story and the work she created for Vogue. I can’t imagine who will take her place, someone of such brilliance and willfulness does not come around often. I highly recommend reading her book, it was such a beautiful and inspiring memoir that shared a view into a different fashion world than we know today.
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