The Genteel
September 28, 2020


Former Vogue Paris editor, Carine Roitfeld, was recently appointed global fashion director for Harper's Bazaar. Source: MAC Cosmetics.
Carine Roitfeld book Irreverant
Carine Roitfeld's book, Irreverent, is an
anthology of her visual work since the 1990s.

When it comes to ending a 10-year relationship, there is no such thing as a clean exit. Even if you live in a big city like Paris, proof of a shared past can haunt you no matter where you go. In the case of Carine Roitfeld, breaking up with Vogue Paris was made easier by falling into the arms of a different fashion figure: New York City.

In an interview with Vogue Daily's Emily Holt, the Condé Nast divorcée breezily stated, "Everyone says I'm more relaxed. The moment you leave a big company after ten years, even though I was very happy there, everything looks different - like a bird in a cage, even if it was a golden cage. I have freedom and freedom has a price, but in another way I enjoy this and maybe am more serene, more quiet, more cool, more calm."

Roitfeld has publicly framed her resignation from Vogue Paris as one that was voluntarily. However, reports of Condé Nast's growing frustrations with Roitfeld's abuse of power - such as allegedly taking on lucrative consulting gigs or sending Balenciaga preview pieces to Max Mara to copy - suggest that she actually might have been fired. Whatever the reasons for Roitfeld's abrupt exit, her career has not suffered in the least. 

As a pioneering force, Roitfeld could have easily treated New York as a retiring playground. Instead, it has become ground zero.

In the last couple of months alone, Roitfeld has worked as a stylist, guest editor, model and consultant for clients like Barney's New York and V Magazine. As New York Fashion Week kicked into full gear, Roitfeld also released a limited-edition make-up line produced by MAC Cosmetics and launched her biannual magazine, CR Fashion Book. 

Not bad for a 58-year-old grandmother.

Unlike most freelance stylists in New York, business for Roitfeld has always been booming. Shortly after leaving her post as editor, Rizzoli published her book, Irreverent, an anthology of Roitfeld's visual work since the early 1990s. Her longtime friend, Karl Lagerfeld, has also kept her busy. Roitfeld has styled Chanel's last two major advertising campaigns, and worked with Lagerfeld to produce The Little Black Jacket, a collection of photographs that chronicles the history of Chanel's iconic statement piece.

Now, Hearst Magazines International, the rival of her former employer, has rolled out the welcome mat. Roitfeld will serve as the global fashion director for Harper's Bazaar in the newly created position that will let Roitfeld work with all 26 international editions of the magazine. In a public statement, CEO David Carey reasoned, "Carine is one of the fashion world's most influential tastemakers and we look forward to seeing what she does with Bazaar."

Carine Roitfeld Mac
Carine Roitfeld's limited edition make-up
collection for MAC Cosmetics.
Source: MAC Cosmetics.

Starting with the March 2013 issue, Roitfeld will collaborate with Bazaar US's creative director, Stephen Gan, on setting the visual tone for editorials. The position will not stop Roitfeld from working on other projects, like CR Fashion Book.

But even if Roitfeld moved to New York and did nothing, her professional achievements would be enough to secure annual invitations to the Met Gala, or front row seats during New York Fashion Week. Her outré styling sensibilities have left an indelible mark in the fashion world. As a pioneering force, Roitfeld could have easily treated New York as a retiring playground. Instead, it has become ground zero. "The last Joan of Arc of fashion - it will be me," she resolutely told The Telegraph

Paris has indeed left a bitter taste in her mouth, and the only way Roitfeld will get rid of it is if she is able to continue whipping up dishes of her own. When asked about her experiences at Vogue Paris, Roitfeld told the New York Times just how she keeps score, "I lost some people I thought were my friends, but I made so many new friends… I am the winner, at the end of the day."  



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