“I am a woman that works quite a lot and who has fought for things that she wanted, also risking, for three times they wanted to dismiss me, but if you do a job in which you believe and you have the fortune that they recognize you the things that you have done, yes perhaps to that point you have power, that means that you have won to expose your ideas.”
Franca Sozzani was a woman never afraid to be herself, to fight for her ideas, of the world that surrounded her and above all of the illness, that has slowly consumed her up to death that has come on December 22nd, 2016. She was 66 years old and she was (the chief editor of) Vogue Italia: with her ideas and under her control, the magazine has known an incredible success, by proposing beautiful photo-shoots and standing always open to innovation and to the fight for the rights of women, of every size and nationality.
Born in Mantua, after the classical studies she graduates in literature and philosophy: in 1973 she begins to work for “Vogue Bambini”, while in 1980 she becomes manager of “Lei.” A convinced supporter of photography as a vehicle to communicate strong messages, in America she meets Steven Meisel and Bruce Weber, with who she begins the first collaborations. When she becomes “Queen” of Vogue Italia (in the same year and month in which Anna Wintour becomes the director of Vogue USA), she doesn’t forget her humanitarian commitments: she takes over to Gianni Versace in the coordination of the appointment charity “Convivio“, to help the sick of AIDS. She is also ambassadress of the world food Program of ONU.
In 2009 she opens the world of fashion for everybody with the first edition of the Vogue fashion’s Night Out and in 2010 she opens the website “Vogue.it”, the first portal dedicated to the magazine. In 2012 Sarkozy confers her the Legion of Honor and in 2013 she is nominated president of the IEO Foundation (European Institute of Oncology).
Well distant from the imagine given by the book/film “The devil dresses Prada“, Franca was always a solar woman, always smiling and available to an exchange of words, with the clear and resolved ideas and characterized by a pure simplicity: “No, it is not true that I am proud and that I don’t greet. I am myopic. I bring the famous black glasses, always, not for mannerism but for real demand. Ah, the history of the editors must be a size 42 to work for me… it has happened but there is a why. I don’t pick up editors from other newspapers; I like to professionally grow they as mine. It goes from itself that they are young and the younger are more easily thin. It is not a strategy…” She seems an ordinary woman when reading these lines, with the weaknesses and the desire to enjoy the life typical of whoever: “I Eat badly, I have a tall cholesterol. Bread, cheeses and sweets. Above all sweets. Do we want to speak of chocolate? Ten, also 12 ciocorìs a day from the vending machines of Condé Nast.” Above all, she never missed a chance to defend every form of femininity: “The suits are well on a slender body, not on a thin one. The curves fill them better. I have never found sexy the skinniness.”
Tireless worker, her life has been reported in a documentary directed by her beloved son Francesco Carrozzini and entitled “Franca: Chaos and Creation”, presented at the last International Film Festival in Venice; she was already sick in September, but she didn’t want to spread this news just yet, only with her closest friends and family. Faithful to this idea, she was present as always at the fashions weeks, not showing herself as ill, up to the last public appearance during the Swarovski Award Positive for Change, on December 5th.
A “Panther“, as she used to define herself, that has fought with determination for all her life, until the end, when a stronger predator has had the unfortunately best on her. In a very emotional way she is remembered by whoever has known her (Anne Wintour has described their friendship in a flash article, Pierpaolo Piccioli has shared a memory of her on social newtworks as well as other stylists and influential personalities) and from whoever admired her: an icon that is already legend, whose contribution to the sector has been fundamental, revolutionary and unforgettable.
Goodbye therefore dear Franca, and thanks for everything.