Longtime Vogue Editor Grace Mirabella Dies at 91 – WWD

Iconic glossy magazine editor Grace Mirabella passed away on Thursday aged 91, her family confirms Vogue.

Mirabella was editor-in-chief of Condé Nast-owned magazine from 1971 to 1988, taking over power from Diana Vreeland and paving the way for Anna Wintour, who is still the editor-in-chief today. Later, Mirabella founded the magazine of the same name Mirabella in 1989 with Rupert Murdoch’s Murdoch magazine.

“You look back on a career – and I think it’s stupid to do it, I hate to look back, but you do – and I realize I’ve never had any major disappointments. Really. And I also look back, and I think, ‘Did I really do all that?!’, she mused about her multi-year fashion career in a 2012 interview with WWD.

Unlike many of her predecessors at Vogue Originally a socialite, Mirabella was born to Italian immigrant parents in Newark, NJ, which she described in her 1995 autobiography “In and Out of Vogue” as “a city of those struggling to advance from the immigrant lands”.

After graduating from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a major in economics, Mirabella began a career in retail, including jobs at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, before joining Vogue in 1952 with as an assistant. There, she quickly rose to the rank of deputy editor under Vreeland, admitting in an interview with The Washington Post that while it wasn’t easy to work for Vreeland, she admired aunt.

“It was very difficult to work for her,” she said. “But you can get along with a difficult person if you admire them. And I admire Diana Vreeland – for all her style and know-how, to which she’s turned. In addition, she has the most extraordinary sense of humor. And that can turn impossible moments into reality.”

When Vreeland was fired in 1971, Mirabella was named her successor and was about to chart a new route for Vogue from a women’s magazine to a more “easygoing” publication, allowing the team to new female readers are more accessible.

“What I’ve always been interested in, passionate about, is style. Style is how a woman carries herself and approaches the world. It’s about the way she wears her clothes and more: an attitude to life. Wearing the most expensive things around has nothing to do with style. Style transcends money, fashion trends, ‘beauty’. ”

In 1974 while working at Vogue, Mirabella married William Cahan, a well-known cancer expert and anti-smoking advocate who died in 2001 at the age of 87. His work is said to have influenced Mirabella’s editorial views, bringing more of health and fitness to Vogue and appreciation. She never takes pictures of models with cigarettes when at the publishing house. It is understood she was persecuted when Mirabella introduced a runway model with a cigarette in one of the fashion layouts she had never seen before publication.

Her run at Vogue was successful, with a circulation of 1.2 million (more than three times what she started) and total advertising revenue of $79.5 million in 1987. , figures from the Association of Magazine Publishers show. However, she was replaced with Wintour because of concerns among executives that Vogue was losing ground to rival Elle.

“Grace guided Vogue through a pivotal moment in American history – liberation, sexual freedom, and the vital and hard-won rights for women – and she made that time come to life. active on the pages of the magazine,” Wintour said in a statement Wednesday. “She shies away from fantasy and escapism in favor of a chic minimalist style and speaks clearly and directly the newly liberated ways we want to live. Grace introduced Helmut Newton to his most daring and invincible designs to numerous American designers: Ralph, Calvin, Donna and Mr. Beene. She embodies the best of America in her vision and values, and she transformed Vogue in ways that still resonate with — and for which we’re immensely grateful — today. now “.

Shortly after she left Vogue, Murdoch approached her about launching Mirabella, a magazine targeting 35-year-old women. She later became a brand ambassador for the magazine, which was sold to Hachette Filipacchi in 1996 and closed in 2000.

In the years that followed, she wrote an autobiography expressing some strongly negative opinions about Wintour and other fashionistas, and launched the online magazine The Esthete.

Fashion editor Marylou Luther said on Thursday, “For me, Grace is truly a person full of grace. Not only is she a great Vogue editor, she’s kind, open-minded, approachable – the talent of her predecessor Dianna Vreeland and her successor. Anna Wintour was/is not exactly known. ”

Stan Herman, whose design career paralleled Mirabella’s when she became executive director at Vogue, said “she has a certain reasonable elegance and such a compelling personality” and that she was one of the leaders of the young design movement in the 60s and 70s. “She seemed so approachable at a time when we needed her,” he continued, noting that Mirabella’s predecessor Diana Vreeland was not easy to approach. “She is like a goddess. It was hard to be around her — almost intimidating being a young designer,” Herman said. “Grace has opened her arms to young designers.”

Photographer Gideon Lewin, who was Richard Avedon’s assistant early in his career, recalled Mirabella’s reputation for being “very supportive of American designers and American women”. Supporting Avedon throughout the ’70s, Lewin worked with her through the advertising department at Vogue and created numerous fashion ads for advertisers. It was her idea for Lewin to do a behind-the-scenes photo shoot during the Avedon shoot for Vogue. Some of these images were used in video presentations to potential advertisers, Lewin said. “I remember the excitement at the studio when Avedon photographed Beverly Johnson for the first Black model to appear on the cover of Vogue.”

Warm, gentle and approachable, Mirabella supported Lewin’s work in meetings and post-Vogue when she founded Mirabella magazine. “She embodies the strength of the modern woman. She’ll miss it,” Lewin said.

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https://wwd.com/business-news/media/longtime-vogue-editor-grace-mirabella-dies-at-1235023080/ Longtime Vogue Editor Grace Mirabella Dies at 91 – WWD

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