Franca Sozzani

Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia Editor-In-Chief, Dies At Age 66

Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief, died on Thursday after battling a year-long illness. She was 66.

Sozzani, who was born in Mantova, Italy, was appointed EIC of Vogue Italia in 1988 — the same year Anna Wintour was named editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Throughout her 28 years at Vogue Italia, she shaped the magazine into one of the most influential global publications, with her themed issues that pushed boundaries and questioned the perceptions of beauty in fashion.

The news of Sozzani’s death was announced in a letter written by Condé Nast chairman and chief executive, Jonathan Newhouse, published on Vogue Italia‘s website.

“This is the saddest news I have ever had to report to you,” wrote Newhouse. “Franca Sozzani, the Editor of Italian Vogue for 28 years, died today in Milan after a year-long illness with her son Francesco by her side.”

He continued, “Franca was one of the greatest Editors who ever made a magazine. She was by far the most talented, influential and important person within the Condé Nast International organisation.”

Franca, who was appointed editor-in-chief of Italian Condé Nast in 1994, never shied away from controversy during her nearly three-decade long tenure at the magazine. She tackled issues like fashion’s weight debate and plastic surgery and was behind that landmark all-black issue that was released in 2008. Sozzani also gave Kim Kardashian her first-ever Vogue appearance, and defended bloggers long before they were even considered a serious part of the industry.

Along with being one of the most influential editors in the business, the mother of one was also known for her philanthropic work, serving as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. Earlier this month, she received the First Swarovski Award for Positive Change in London and in September, “Franca: Chaos and Creation,” a documentary on her life directed by her son Francesco Carrozzini, premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

She will be greatly missed.