Let’s all form a prayer circle because it’s happened: Grace Coddington has stepped down as creative director of American Vogue, effective immediately.
According to a spokesperson, the 74-year-old will act as a “creative director at large” which means she’ll still be on the roster, but obviously everyone reading this — and especially me — are heartbroken. Mainly because this means not every issue will have Grace’s magic touch.
“After more than 25 years at American Vogue, Grace Coddington will assume the role of creative director at large and take on additional projects outside the magazine,” a spokesperson said. “She will work on several Vogue fashion shoots throughout the year.”
But it’s not like Grace will ever be replaced (DUH). According to Business of Fashion, Coddington’s position will not be filled, and she’s scheduled to work on four editorial shoots over the next year (plus she’s keeping her office). Also exciting? The woman is collaborating on a fragrance with Commes Des Garcons. (!!!)
“I really love Vogue, it’s been in my life always, they discovered me as a model at 19,” she said in an exclusive Business of Fashion interview. “I’m not running away from Vogue, because it has opened so many doors. But it will be nice to collaborate, and nice to go out [and] give talks to people. It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going into retirement. I don’t want to sit around.”
And selfishly, I don’t want her to sit around. Not just because Grace Coddington is a creative genius, but because she epitomizes what you can do if you truly hustle and hone your craft. She stole The September Issue for a reason: she’s herself, pure and simple. And in turn, she tells us that being one’s self is often enough.
Also: her decision to step back followed a very long conversation with Anna Wintour.
“Anna and I always check in with each other,” she said. “It grew out of conversations. I guess I kept going to her and saying, ‘Do you mind if I do a book, do you mind if I do a thing?’ She has always been really respectful of me, just as I am respectful of her. She saw that I wanted to branch out a bit.”
So nobody wants to hear any of your feud conspiracies, anyone. Best friends to the end. Or at the very least, co-workers who deeply respect each other.
Our favourite Grace Coddington Vogue editorials: