Saturday, September 25, 2021

Legendary Stylist Grace Coddington Steps Down at US Vogue

Announced today, iconic stylist Grace Coddington has stepped down from her role as creative director of American Vogue, with immediate effect.

The legendary talent, who has been the publication’s lead in creative direction – and right hand woman to Anna Wintour – for almost 30 years, will not leave entirely and will instead take the position of creative director at large, with no immediate plans to fulfil her previous position.

A shot from Vogue's February'14 issue "Kickstart" editorial, starring Joan Smalls and Riccardo Tisci, styled by Grace and lensed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh
A shot from Vogue’s February’14 issue “Kickstart” editorial, starring Joan Smalls and Riccardo Tisci, styled by Grace and lensed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh

The news broke on BoF today, with a Vogue spokesperson saying;

“After more than 25 years at American Vogue, Grace Coddington will assume the role of creative director at large and take on additional projects outside the magazine.

She will work on several Vogue fashion shoots throughout the year.”

Grace starred in Marks & Spencer's 2013 ad campaign, photographed by Annie Leibovitz
Grace pictured in Marks & Spencer’s 2013 ad campaign, photographed by Annie Leibovitz

The change in contract allows 74-year-old Ms Coddington to maintain her office space in Vogue‘s Manhattan headquarters, but with the freedom to take on work outside of the publication – a luxury Grace wasn’t previously permitted to in her contract.

The talent, known for her head of wild, red curls, a love of cats and visionary sense for styling, has been responsible for many of the magazine’s top editorials, featuring the world’s best photographers, models, designers and hair and makeup artists.

Kimye's famed Vogue cover, lensed by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Grace
Kimye’s famed Vogue cover, lensed by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Grace

Having worked at the publication since 1988, the creative says she took the decision to try “another approach”, explaining;

“I really love Vogue, it’s been in my life always, they discovered me as a model at 19. 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.

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A self portrait by Grace Coddington, posted to her Instagram

It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going into retirement. I don’t want to sit around.”

Jourdan Dunn in Vogue's May'12 "Eternal Optimism" editorial, styled by Grace and shot by Craig McDean
Jourdan Dunn in Vogue‘s May’12 “Eternal Optimism” editorial, styled by Grace and shot by Craig McDean

The new approach sees her just-joined with top creative agency Greta Bowery, which represents (via agencies under its umbrella) the likes of designer Heidi Slimane and photographer Bruce Weber. The agency said of Grace’s signing – which has landed them their first super stylist on their books;

“We are extremely honored to have Grace Coddington join Great Bowery and look forward to supporting and working with one of the most original, iconic and deeply creative figures in the fashion world.”

A shot from the "Modern Times" editorial from Vogue's May'12 issue - lensed by McDean and styled by Grace
A shot from the “Modern Times” editorial from Vogue’s May’12 issue – lensed by McDean and styled by Grace

Grace said of joining Bowery;

“I suddenly realised that I needed some help from outside. 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.”

cats
An illustration by Grace of a ‘Catwalk Cat’ with designer Marc Jacobs, posted to her Instagram

With Grace just recently joining Instagram, where followers can see her day-to-day fashion choices and her art – Grace’s “Catwalk Cats” illustrations rumoured to become an animated film in the near future – it seems a new approach all around has been on the cards.

In fact, Grace is to design a perfume with top label Comme des Garçons – a move that may well make it into the upcoming second documentary on Grace’s work, due for release later this year by Phaidon.

gracebook

Phaidon is also the publisher of one of the creative’s two books, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue (co-authored and edited by fellow legends Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Ellen Von Unwerth, Steven Meisel and more) which was published in 2002, and re-issued last year.

With plenty of projects in the pipeline, Team SPICE congratulate Grace Coddington on her expanding and ever-lasting place in the fashion industry – even though it sees the icon taking a step down from the role of creative director at US Vogue.

Image source: @Therealgracecoddington, Models.com

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