Edmonde Charles-Roux, The “Vogue” Revolution
Edmonde Charles-Roux, a French writer who was among the founding editors of Elle magazine and a longtime editor of Vogue before turning to literature, has died. She was 95.The Académie Goncourt, whose prize she won with her novel “To Forget Palermo,” said she died late Wednesday in her hometown of Marseille in France.
The daughter of a diplomat who spent most of her childhood outside France, Charles-Roux obtained a nursing degree in 1939 when World War II broke out. She was wounded in a bombing in 1940 and ultimately was honored by the French Foreign Legion…
…At the war’s end, she worked for the newly founded Elle, before ultimately becoming chief editor of Vogue until 1966. It was a true revolution.She quickly put her stamp on the magazine, expanding its cultural coverage and showcasing the writers Alain Robbe-Grillet François Nourissier and Violette Leduc and the photographers Irving Penn and Guy Bourdin. She also promoted the careers of up-and-coming designers, notably Emanuel Ungaro and Yves Saint-Laurent.
She was forced out, because had lobbied to put a black model on the cover. She explained:«When I went for my paycheck, the accountant told me : “I think it will be the last one”.» «I couldn’t imagine that having a woman of color on the cover could be such a shock, there was no desire for provocation on my part».
Edmonde Charles-Roux first novel was published in 1966 to acclaim. She went on to write biographies as well as fiction, before becoming first a member of the Académie Goncourt and then its president.
Farewell Madame Charles-Roux you will be truly missed.
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