Franca Sozzani has died at age 66. Now fans are wondering what happened to the longtime editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia.
Vogue confirmed that Sozzani passed away this week after a year-long illness. She is survived by her son, Francesco Carrozzini, who recently made a documentary about her.
"Franca was one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine, Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast, said after Sozzani's death. "She was by far the most talented, influential and important person within the Condé Nast International organization. She made Italian Vogue a powerful and influential voice in the worlds of fashion and photography by publishing ground-breaking photography and journalism."
Newhouse continued, "In doing so she expanded Vogue beyond what had been the traditional model of a fashion magazine and often courted controversy by doing so. The greatest fashion photographers looked to Franca as the creative leader who would give them the freedom and the scope to produce their best work and they did so, month after month."
Sozzani graduated from the University of Mantua in 1973 with a degree in literature and philosophy. But it wasn't long before she entered the fashion world. She worked for Vogue Bambini in the 1970s before editing Lei and Per Lui in the 1980s. She then became editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia in 1988, and editor-in-chie of Italian Condé Nast six years later.
"For me, I love images first, more than anything else," she said in 2014. "Before fashion, I love images. I love to find a new way to make an interpretation of fashion. I use the frames to send messages, like frames of an old movie. Besides the culture of our past, Italy has cinema: Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni. You want it to be aesthetic but with meaning. Otherwise you get tired of even the most beautiful things. It's not enough if there's not a concept inside."
Indeed, Sozzani soon became known for mixing fashion with social commentary. She famously released the Black Issue in July 2008, which featured only African-American models. And in 2010, she published a cover story called "Water And Oil" where model Kristen McMenamy posed covered in oil as a response to the BP Oil spill.
"Why can’t a fashion magazine talk about what’s happening in the world?” Sozzani said earlier this year. "Market researchers always say, Do this, do that. I did the exact opposite of what they said. I don’t think that today a fashion magazine can only show you the clothes, and that’s it."
"All the pictures are made in a glamorous way — there is nothing sad, trashy or poor," Franca Sozzani said at the time. "People may say that Vogue does not want to talk about sickness and poverty, but if we can give an uplifting image, it is helping people who would not have considered Africa at all."
What are your favorite memories of Franca Sozzani? Let us know your take in the comments section below.