After sixteen years at W, Alex White will leave her post as fashion and style director of the magazine, W announced this morning. Editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi brushes off rumors that White left because she was bitter that she didn't get his job following the departure of Patrick McCarthy about a year ago. "I think she lived through these very difficult months and delivered great fashion and great stories," he told WWD, adding that the decision for White to leave was mutual.
According to Tonchi, he kept in close touch with White over the last year about whether she wanted to stay at the magazine, and ultimately the decision for her to leave was mutual. “She’s thinking very much about her own brand — the Alex White brand — and at a certain point that’s no longer what W is about,” he added.
“Totally on the same page,” White told WWD. “I helped with getting over the hump. Now it’s time for me to continue my freelance and explore the other things I’m working on,” including digital projects.
White has a reputation for being tough, but also great to work for, and we hear her staff — who learned of her departure yesterday — is very sad to see her go. Apparently she's been talking about leaving to start her own magazine for years but delayed actually making the move until now. Though she and Tonchi got along well, we're told, she may have felt limited creatively at W. Tonchi suggested to WWD that White may even start this new magazine online.
White, who has consistently had lots of freelance work on the side of her W duties, will be replaced by Edward Enninful, a stylist for publications like American and Italian Vogue. White departs the magazine in an age when stylists can't just be stylists anymore but have to be their own brands with clothing lines and online newsletters and reality shows and books — something that has really become an expectation of them by the fashion and entertainment industries. We can't wait to see what White does next. And you know, anyone who watched The Voice last night knows NBC is desperate for a hit show.