Fired Vogue Director Gets Extremely Candid About Fashion Industry

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 6, 2017

Hell hath no fury like a Fashion Editor scorned, it seems - at least when that Fashion Editor is unceremoniously dumped by magazine. But, one former British Vogue editor just lifted the lid on what it's really like to work at Vogue. Soon after its publication, however, and amid talk of legal action, the piece was taken down, only to sensationally resurface again less than 24 hours later.

Vogue UK fashion director Lucinda Chambers who departed the magazine in May has apparently revealed to fashion journal Vestoj that she was sacked by new editor Edward Enninful without warning, as she divulged in the "irrelevant" and advertiser-ruled inner workings of the fashion bible.

In an email to the New York Times, Anja Aronowsky Cronberg explained why the article was removed and later republished: "Due to the sensitive nature of this article, we took the decision to temporarily remove it from the site, but have now republished it in its entirety". I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational?

In a candid interview with fashion journal Vestoj the 58-year-old has spilled the beans. "It took them three minutes to do it", Chambers is quoted as saying. "No one in the building knew it was going to happen", said Chambers.

She's worked at British Vogue for 36 years, 25 of which she acted as fashion director (and thus was responsible for a bunch of iconic fashion moments for the magazine). He's a big advertiser so I knew why I had to do it.

Enninful, who hails from Ghana and is the son of a seamstress, is the first male editor of the United Kingdom title. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people - so ridiculously expensive.

'What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. They've stopped being useful. They think, 'It worked then, we've got to make it work now.' But fashion is an alchemy: it's the right person at the right company at the right time. Most of us, however, adopt a more dignified, measured approach. "So we cajole, bully or encourage people" into buying.

Chambers is not afraid to admit her own flaws, though the fashion world has zero tolerance for those who stumble.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for British Vogue disputed some of Chambers's comments: "It's usual for an incoming editor to make some changes to the team".

"Any changes made are done with the full knowledge of senior management", the statement continued.

Dozens of readers, meanwhile, were quick to praise Chambers' candor.

'In terms of the reasons why it was removed, they are directly related to the industry pressures which Lucinda discusses in her interview.

"As you know, fashion magazines are rarely independent because their existence depends on relationships with powerful institutions and individuals, whether it's for tickets to shows, access in order to conduct interviews or advertising revenue". "We created Vestoj to be an antidote to these pressures, but we are not always immune".

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