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Legendary American Vogue creative director Grace Coddington is stepping down, effective immediately.
“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 Vogue spokeswoman said in a statement to Pret-a-Reporter. “She will work on several Vogue fashion shoots throughout the year.”
The magazine has no plans to immediately fill the role, and Coddington will still be doing a minimum of four shoots a year for American Vogue. Business of Fashion first reported the news.
Coddington has been with the magazine since 1988. This marks the first time she will have taken on external projects in her tenure. Rest assured that she won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
As the 74-year-old told Business of Fashion, “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.”
Coddington’s career with Vogue began in her mid-20s as a photo editor for British Vogue, where she met Anna Wintour, who later hired her as creative director after becoming editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Coddington shared that her plans to step down were discussed extensively with Wintour, saying, “She saw that I wanted to branch out a little bit.”
Coddington, a former model and stylist, will be represented by Great Bowery, the newly established umbrella agency (aka the CAA of fashion) of Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber. She is the first client to be signed directly by the agency.
Coddington said of the signing, “I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into just styling a shoot, I wanted to do something beyond. I approached them and they were willing to help me on all sorts of aspects. They’re thinking up ideas for me, which is fun.” First up is her upcoming fragrance collaboration with Comme des Garçons.
“We are extremely honored to have Grace Coddington join Great Bowery and look forward to supporting and working with one of the most original, iconic and deeply creative figures in the fashion world,” said Great Bowery director of Books & Exhibitions Alexander Galan. “I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we are already receiving very significant and interesting inquiries which we look forward to exploring.”
One of the most high-profile, revered figures in the fashion industry, Coddington has produced two books and played an integral role in 2009’s acclaimed documentary The September Issue.
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