"The charge that I am not, somehow, a real fashion
person has dogged me throughout the greater portion of my professional
life...I don't like glitz and I don't like trendy things and I don't
like slapdash and silly fashion games..."
Editor-in-Chief of Vogue from 1971 to 1988. Preceded by Diana
Vreeland, succeeded by Anna Wintour; much maligned in the
Grace Mirabella was born in 1929, the child of Italian immigrants.
She worked in Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue before becoming Diana
Diana Vreeland, her predecessor, was a goliath in the world of
fashion, a woman who loved the beauty and artistry of the finer things.
She was a major champion of the clean, smart lines of Chanel; the
flowing elegance of de la Renta. Grace Mirabella
was seen as less of an aesthete and more of a businesswoman; in
short, a philistine. Vreeland had always raved about her love of red
lipstick and red rooms; when Mirabella took the helm, she painted
Vreeland's office beige. She wasn't interested in in creating
wearable art, but in form following function. Her minor offense was
that she didn't mythologize fashion, her unforgivable crime was that she wasn't Diana Vreeland.
Vreeland had written for a woman who had the time and inclination to buy
expensive clothes that were art pieces. By the time she was fired by
the magazine, that woman had changed considerably. The modern woman
was working outside of the home, raising a family, and needed fashion
that moved at her speed.
She threw her support behind designers such as Ralph Lauren,
Giorgio Armani, and Calvin Klein; designers who made clothes that
were ready-to-wear in every sense of the word. She introduced a new
generation of women to a concept of fashion that was
adaptable and experimental. Like Vreeland, she created the
fashion of an era, and was fired when that era had come to
a close. She heard about her own replacement by Anna Wintour not from
her management at Conde Nast, but on the television, from gossip
columnist Liz Smith.
She went on to publish her own magazine, Mirabella, which ran from 1989 to 2000, and was backed by Rupert Murdoch.
Grace Under Pressure
In and Out of Vogue