Franca Sozzani, Storied Italian Vogue Editor, Has Died

Franca Sozzani, Storied Italian Vogue Editor, Has Died

Sozzani leaves behind a legacy of provocative visuals from throughout her culture-defining career.

Sozzani leaves behind a legacy of provocative visuals from throughout her culture-defining career.

Photography: Karl Lagerfeld

Text: William Defebaugh

Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, has died at the age of 66.

In her 28-year tenure at the style bible (she was appointed the same year that Anna Wintour was named Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue), Sozzani pushed the boundaries of fashion publishing, fearlessly tacking so-called taboo cultural issues with her famously provocative editorials—a list that included environmental catastrophes (the BP oil spill), domestic violence, and our culture's obsession with plastic surgery. In 2008, she made waves with the Black Issue, the editorials of which contained only women of color, shot by famed collaborator Steven Meisel.

Recently, Sozzani's son Francesco completed a documentary about his mother titled Franca: Chaos and Creation (the name of which came from how Bruce Weber described her work). The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival last Friday to much fan-fair from the legendary editor's long list of collaborators.

In 2001, Karl Lagerfeld took a portrait of Sozzani for the 11th issue of V as part of a series on the most powerful magazine players in the industry. With the image came a short, but telling, interview with the Italian editor. When asked what she hated most about fashion, she replied simply: "The fact that everybody forgets too easily."

While she may have been right in numerous regards, it's certain that fashion will not easily forget Sozzani, whose imaginative career will be remembered for the ways in which it elevated, and enchanted, an entire industry.

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