When Carine Roitfeld first announced her resignation as editor in chief of Vogue Paris, rumors swirled that she’d been unceremoniously fired — though we were quick to come to her defense. Now, a new article on the rise of replacement Emmanuelle Alt’s fashion star raises questions about Roitfeld’s undoing — and the relationship between the former co-workers and collaborators.
Cathy Horyn delves into the sartorial politics in today’s Thursday Style section in The New York Times, focusing mainly on Alt’s ascension, but a few nuggets from post-resignation chat with Roitfeld reveals that all was not right at Vogue Paris before she left — particularly with that Tom Ford edited issue featuring what we fondly called geriatric porn and kiddie models.
When asked if being away from the office was a contributing factor, Ms. Roitfeld said last month over a drink at the Ritz hotel in Paris: “Maybe, maybe. Everybody has an opinion. Before, it wasn’t a problem, and anyway the magazine was doing very well. It’s difficult to work with a big team. Maybe it’s good I go back to my roots.” She said that her bosses received complaints from advertisers over the Ford issue. “I was killed for that,” she said. “You know, it’s difficult to try to do something new each month.”
It sounds like thought Roitfeld wasn’t fired, she was getting a little sick of having to answer to a publisher — and perhaps that publisher was getting a little sick of attempting reign Roitfeld in. That said, the saddest part of this article might have been the almost throwaway paragraph near the bottom of the first page: Alt and Roitfeld are no longer speaking.
Her friendship with Ms. Alt did not survive, however. Both women said they were no longer speaking. Neither would reveal the reasons.
While no one said they were ever friends in the first place, they did work together for over 22 years. And that either takes some sort of kinship, or an admirable ability to separate work and play.