Carine Roitfeld announced today that she will leave her position as editor-in-chief of French Vogue. Nothing is wrong, she says; it's more of a Seinfeld situation: She's been there for a decade and wants to end on a high note. “It’s ten years that I’m editor of the magazine,” she told Cathy Horyn. “I think it’s time to do something different.” She said her departure had nothing to do with Condé Nast International chief executive Jonathan Newhouse. Horyn reports:
Ms. Roitfeld often did the styling for photo shoots. “I had so much freedom to do everything I wanted. I think I did a good job.” But she added, “When everything is good, maybe I think it’s the time to do something else.” She expects to complete issues through March. She said she was not sure what she would do after that. “I have no plan at all,” she said.
Newhouse said that under Roitfeld, French Vogue "received record levels of circulation and advertising and editorial success." He added that she will be "deeply missed" and noted, "Carine herself has become widely known as a beacon of style, fulfilling the role with charm and graciousness. She has become a giant in her profession." Condé Nast France president Xavier Romatet said in a blog post announcing Roitfeld's move on the magazine's website, "Of course, I regret Carine's decision, even if I understand it. One page turns and a new step begins for this solid and powerful brand that is sure of its values."
New York's spring 2008 fashion issue included a profile of Roitfeld, in which we learned this day was coming:
“My best quality is to be stylist. I never think about this career, this big job,” she says. “I never wanted to be what I am today, and I will not die in the position.” She still finds the idea of an office with a door where she’s expected every day (at least by telephone) somewhat troubling. All she ever wanted was to be surrounded by very attractive people and very expensive clothes. It’s always been “fashion, fashion, fashion”—so much so that she lists beauty and jewelry as evidence that the job as editor-in-chief has expanded her range of interests.
And she doesn’t care much for the business aspect of fashion. In an industry where accessories count for the bulk of her advertisers’ revenue, she has this to say: “Right now I think that fashion in the world becomes a bit boring. There is so much money, and I feel a bit when you go to shows they want to sell so many handbags, and for me, well, I do not like handbags. I do not wear handbags. It is not a nice look, to carry a handbag.”
“I’m not a business girl,” Roitfeld says. “I will never be a business girl, but I will say, for Anna Wintour, that I respect successful people, I like things that are success. But this is really American.”
Roitfeld will stay on through the end of January, and her replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. The head — it spins!