We were all jolted on Friday by the rather unexpected announcement from across the channel that Carine Roitfeld has decided that 10 years at the head of French Vogue is enough, and she will be leaving early in 2011! Gosh. The preconception of fashion folk, (based on more than a smidge of truth) is that when people in this industry get a good job, they tend to cling on to it with claw-like vices. Like Grace and Anna at US Vogue or Karl at Chanel, fashion pros tend to be workaholics and also know when they are onto a good thing.
This is why we were quick to speculate that Tom Ford’s new ready-to-wear line for women must have been a factor in Carine’s resignation, i.e. he would have offered her a squillion-dollar deal to come back and work with him in the same way that they collaborated at Gucci, a partnership that was super-profitable (during Ford’s tenure there, sales grew by 90%). Murmurs all over the fashion world agreed that there would be some connection to Ford at the heart of it.
'When we heard Tom was coming back, we all thought — that's it, Carine will go with him and it will be like the golden years again!', says Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, Editor-in-Chief of 10 magazine to Nymag. 'Carine is to Tom Ford what Amanda Harlech is to Karl Lagerfeld. She's always been his muse so a move like that would make perfect sense.'
However, cold water has been poured on the rumours by none other than Tom Ford himself. He sent an email to Queen of Fashion news, New York Times reporter, Cathy Horyn, saying ‘Carine and I have no plans to work together at the moment, and it is nothing that we have even discussed, but of course I think she is brilliant and we are close friends so who knows about the future.’
Ooooh. Curiouser and curiouser. Perhaps Madame Roitfeld has something else up her Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci sleeve (!) More news as we hear it, fashion fans!
- Naomi Attwood