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Carine Roitfeld: ‘I Was the Queen of Porno Chic. And I Will Do Something Totally Different Now.’

Carine Roitfeld graced's Dirk Standen with a long interview as part of the site's Future of Fashion series. Perhaps Carine is devoting so much time to an Internet story because she knows this is where fashion is going. "I think if I’m not going on the Internet, I’m going to totally disappear, because the future is the Internet," she said. (*Blushes.*) The ex–French Vogue editor also discussed her last issue for the magazine, her fall-out with Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière, whether or not she was fired, and more.

On her last French Vogue issue:
My last issue is the March issue, and it’s dedicated to young designers, no advertisers, just young designers, because I think they really need the support … When you meet these kids, you learn a lot from them, and I think it gives them a lot of positive energy … I definitely want to work on a project with young designers, not just French but international … I grew up and I think I have better ideas than I had ten years ago.

On working with Olivier Zahm and Alex Wiederin on her new Rizzoli book:
It’s not easy to have two big personalities like Olivier Zahm and Alex Wiederin working together, with me in the middle. But I know “star wars.” I spent a lot of time between Tom Ford and Mario Testino, so I learned how to deal with it.

On the Internet's effect on fashion shows:
Everything is going so quick now with the Internet, with the blogs. It’s very important. There are two possibilities: Either you go very quick to the Internet or you go to magazines and you make it like a collector’s item. [I still think] it’s very normal to have all these Fashion Weeks and to go to all these shows. Can you show them through movies? I don’t think this is possible. It’s very exciting to be at the runway, to hear the music, to feel the atmosphere, to feel what people like or don’t like. Even if there are too many shows — I would love if there were less shows.

On her status as a street-style blog star:
I’m sure there is a lot who want to push me out of the way, because this is fashion. It’s never very faithful, you know, and people want change all the time. This is the purpose of fashion, so I don’t know what is going to happen with me. But my look is not going to change very much.

On her Condé Nast bosses:
Jonathan [Newhouse] was an amazing boss, because he let me do such crazy things. To put a black transsexual with a beard and high heels on the cover? I don’t think a lot of presidents will let you do that. I think it was fun to look at French Vogue. Each month was a new happening. But I think now they want to change a bit. Even the French president [Xavier Romatet, of Condé Nast France] now wants something a bit [pauses] … sweeter I would say, and if I cannot have a lot of fun, then I prefer to do something else.

On her next career move:
I’ve always been provocative, but what I’m going to do next is a new way of provocation. I did for many years porno chic. I was the queen of porno chic. And I will do something totally different now.

On the controversial photo shoot she did with small children in the December issue guest-edited by Tom Ford:
Yes, but when you put kids, you always know it’s going to be a problem. There was no nudity, it was always a T-shirt under the evening dress, but you know, people see what they want … These are the risques du métier.

On the future of French Vogue:
I’m sure the Tom Ford issue is not the way they’re heading in the next few years, but it was not because of the Tom Ford issue. I was not fired, because if I was fired, it would not be a very nice ending. It was a discussion between Jonathan and myself, and he never fired me … I know I did a good job. I know the March issue is a record in terms of advertising … I think it would be stupid to change too much, because I think it’s doing quite well. But everyone has their own personality, and Emmanuelle is very different than me, so we’re going to see what she’s going to do.

On her successor, Emmanuelle Alt:
It’s true that we are not in the best relations, [but] I don’t want to talk about it, to be honest.

On her relationship with the Internet:
I’m not an Internet [girl]. I’m not writing on blogs. I’m not a Facebook girl. Even though there is a fake Facebook with my name, it’s not me. I’m not on Twitter, it’s not me. But I think if I’m not going on the Internet, I’m going to totally disappear, because the future is the Internet. It’s very difficult for me to work on the Internet, but maybe I will find a way. I think this is very, very important.

On how she handled the Internet for French Vogue:
I never took care of the Internet for Paris Vogue, never, because honestly I had no time to work on the Internet, and I don’t think a lot of magazines have success going on the Internet. You have to be thinking totally differently if you want to do something on the Internet. Even French Elle or Grazia, they’re very popular magazines, but on the Internet they’re not so popular, so there is something that doesn’t work.

On her relationship with Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière, who not long ago banned the French Vogue team from his show:
There were these problems with Balenciaga last season, but I know him since the beginning. I was one of the biggest supporters of Nicolas, and I just saw him for a cup of tea and now everything is fine again between Nicolas and me.

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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