The tributes to Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani, who died of lung cancer last Thursday. continue to resonate. W's Stefano Tonchi shares his thoughts on the truly remarkable Sozzani.
Franca was assertive, with a directness that was born of the strength of her convictions. She was loud and clear when she talked; you didn’t second-guess her. She did not tolerate bullshit, but she loved to listen to ideas. She was also very good at managing talented photographers and stylists—which is both an incredible honor and incredibly frustrating—to allow them to do their best work. Italian Vogue had a tradition of working with important photographers like Helmut Newton, but there was always this sense of control. When she got there, she let the photographers take over.
The many admirers of France Sozzani have references her most notorious editorials and issues devoted to a single message. I wrote at length about America's PC fashionistas and self-appointed culture critics who were besides themselves with ire over Meisel's 'Water & Oil' editorial that put fashion within the values context of the BP oil spill. Simply stated, the Americanas couldn't get beyond step one of taking the editorial literally. I imagine France Sozzani took a deep sigh over that fiasco, when the editorial so concretely and without ambiguity was focused on environmentalism and a commentary on the irrelevance of fashion in a world where nature is suffocating in tar sands. .
Related: Remembering Franca Sozzani: A Worldview That Mattered by Vanessa Friedman of New York Times
Another major fashion adventure between Franca Sozzani and Steven Meisel was Linda Evangelista's 'Hollywood Life', published in 2005 as a social commentary on the need to be a woman with a young face in Hollywood. As always Sozzani was daring in her willingness to pursue ugliness (the procedures) in an American-values world that celebrates California girl youth and perfection. Sozzani was far more captivated by personality and presence, than beauty.
Linda Evangelista By Steven Meisel In 'Hollywood Life' For Vogue Italia July 2005 AOC Body Beat