Shocking shifts carry on shaking the fashion world and making us delve into the social media fiercely at the crack of every new dawn just to find out what else there is in store for us. Yesterday the area suffering a shift was one of the world’s most prestigious publications, which broke the news that Grace Coddington steps down as creative director of American Vogue. However, as Business of Fashion revealed in an interview with Vogue’s spokesperson the 75-year-old ginger-haired unique stylist, who has been with Vogue for more than 25 years, will not be bidding adieu to the fashion magazine forever, assuming the role of creative director at large.
The reason behind her decision lies in the perspective of taking up other projects beyond Vogue and branching out into other spheres. Some of her future projects have already been revealed among them being a collaboration with the Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons over a new fragrance development as well as a coffee-table book with Phaidon.
There are no rumors yet that the vacant position of creative director of American Vogue is to be occupied, since according to a contract between Grace Coddington and Vogue, she can pull off to produce at least four editorial spreads a year for the publication. Additionally, Grace will not lose her office and assistant at Vogue’s headquarters and will stick to her permanent working venue at World Trade Center in New York City.
“I really love Vogue, it’s been in my life always, they discovered me as a model at 19,” Coddington said. “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. It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going into retirement. I don’t want to sit around.”
Now Miss Grace will be presented by Great Bowery, an international entity founded in 2015 that is focused on bringing together the most respectful and talented personalities to open up new opportunities for them and to deliver exclusive services. Companies under Great Bowery include Trunk Archive, Streeters, CLM, Management+Artists Organization, M.A.P Ltd, Tim Howard Management and Bernstein & Andriulli, just to name a few.
“I suddenly realised that I needed some help from outside,” Coddington said of the decision to sign with the agency. “I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into just styling a shoot; I wanted to do something beyond. I approached them and they were willing to help me on all sorts of aspects. They’re thinking up ideas for me, which is fun.”
Being one of the influential personalities in the fashion world of our times and a stylist whose editorial shoots boast delivering great aesthetic pleasure to anyone looking at (The Beauty and The Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Flaming June), Grace Coddington started her fashion career as a model winning the Young Model competition held at Vogue. Only in 1988 she was hired by Anna Wintour at American Vogue as a creative director, before that having been worked as a Photo Editor with British Vogue for nineteen years. Grace started to be held in high esteem mainly from 2009 when The September Issue, a fly-on-the-wall documentary was released which was an illustration of the making process of September 2007 issue of Vogue. The film brought out into open the genuine romantic and fairy tale essence of Grace as opposed to Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, known for her strict and business-orientated demenour, which at times resulted in high-strung relationships between the two.
Anyhow, in this sense the two influential women in the history of Vogue seem to have reached an agreement easily enough. As Grace herself states the new role grew out of conversations with Anna Wintour. “I guess I kept going to her and saying, ‘Do you mind if I do a book, do you mind if I do a thing?'” she says. “She has always been really respectful of me, just as I am respectful of her. She saw that I wanted to branch out a little bit.”
Photo courtesy of @therealgracecoddington