Edmonde Charles-Roux, The “Vogue” Revolution

Fashion, News

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.

Naomi Campbell / Vogue / 1988 / Patrick Demarchelier
Finally in 1988, more than twenty years later Naomi Campbell became the first black woman to pose on the cover of Vogue Paris, she was photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Yves Saint Laurent himself had to threatened to withdraw its advertising from the magazine to impose the British model on the cover. Thank you Monsieur Saint Laurent!

Cet article est disponible en: Français

Jan. 22, 2016

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