Remember Grace Coddington's Career As She Steps Down At Vogue
Today, Grace Coddington announced that she would be stepping down as Creative Director at American Vogue and, with that, the magazine has lost one of its most treasured permanent fixtures. Throughout her 18 years at the magazine, she has defied the odds of the typical fashion editor trajectory; where most editors become increasingly more entitled and desensitized as their careers progress, Grace has remained steadfastly, almost alarmingly, chill. It’s a fact that’s even more glaring when you consider her much stiffer and ruthlessly opinionated peer, Anna Wintour, whom Grace worked alongside with throughout her entire tenure.
Born in 1941, Grace grew up in Anglesey, Wales, a town she calls “bleak,” but notes: “there was beauty in it bleakness.” And Anglesey has been integral to Grace’s success and vision as a stylist. Ensconced in a hazy, Hogwarts-like mist, her upbringing was awash in an almost preternatural romanticism that has undoubtedly informed her work today, which is often celebrated for its romantic quality and use of escapism.
Grace has certainly managed to escape the seemingly inevitable fate of most fashion editors—that is, becoming fully mired in cold, hard, ruthlessness. On the contrary, she’s notably thoughtful, considerate, and serene, an aberrant and thus invigorating presence in the industry.
To put it in Kardashian terms (and in terms Grace would certainly scoff at), Grace is the Khloe to Anna’s Kris Jenner. The Moppa, one might argue, of the Vogue trenches—although, at 75 years old, it’d be more accurate to call Moppa a descendant of Ms. Coddington. Add one Kendall to one Kylie, and Grace will have you know that she’s still been in the industry longer than that.
Grace started her career as a model, winning the hearts of photographers for her unconventional beauty, which she learned to cherish and seems to have channeled in her subsequent styling work. She’s spearheaded looks like NastyGal pushes fringe—and then, as soon as these looks become a trend, she abandons them for something fresh. She was doing the Twiggy eyes before Twiggy, and paved the way for the Molly Bairs and Winnie Harlows.
Her impact on fashion has been monumental, and though she will remain part of the Vogue team as Editor-at-Large, her vast contributions to the industry and her constant presence in the Vogue office will certainly be missed.
To commemorate Grace’s pivotal career move, we foraged the Internet and collected some of her best works, available in the slideshow above. Thanks, Grace.
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